Re: [Rd] Interactive Graphics in R [Was: Google Summer of Code 2009]

From: Yihui Xie <>
Date: Fri, 20 Feb 2009 14:51:48 +0800

Hi Simon,

Yes I agree with you on the definition of IG (selection, data query, ...), but I only meant to respond to Oleg's "R lacks functionality that would allow displaying of interactive plots with two distinct functionalities: zooming and panning." I thought that was just a problem to adjust the x and y limits, so I posted the "chewing gum" :-)

For Oleg: sorry I forgot to mention that currently getGraphicsEvent() only works for Windows screen display.


Yihui Xie <>
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Renmin University of China, Beijing, 100872, China

On Fri, Feb 20, 2009 at 1:38 AM, Simon Urbanek
<> wrote:

> On Feb 19, 2009, at 11:20 , Yihui Xie wrote:
>> Well, for the first idea, isn't it easy enough to fulfill zooming or
>> panning using getGraphicsEvent() in the grDevices package?
> Yes, but that's exactly what interactive graphics are NOT about (you just
> posted a good "chewing gum" reference from my previous e-mail ;)). You can
> put together ad-hoc hacks (and many have tried it in R before), but the
> result will not be general interactive graphics. What people don't realize
> is that a lot in IG software is about user interface and HCI. Having
> one-shot tools for very specific tasks doesn't really help to solve the big
> picture (although it may sort of solve your specific immediate problem).
> There are many good interactive software applications out there, but just
> linking them to R is just half of the story.
> What we need is a more general framework for interactive graphics - this
> requires more than just a graphics subsystem - you have to depart from the
> concept of graphics objects and include "statistical objects" in the mix
> such that the underlying data/statistics etc. can be identified by linking
> back though the graphics. This is something we still lack in R --- but I
> hope we will get there sooner or later...
> Cheers,
> Simon
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