Re: [R] R annoyances

From: Philippe Grosjean <phgrosjean_at_sciviews.org>
Date: Sat 21 May 2005 - 17:07:21 EST

François Pinard wrote:
> [Barry Rowlingson]
>
>

>>Even my great dream that R and Python eventually merge into the same
>>language?  R gets Python's syntax and Object-oriented functions and
>>Python gets access to all R's statistical functions?

>
>
> R is more than a statistical library. I'm coming to R with a strong
> Python background, and first thought I would mainly use R through
> Python. But soon, the R language revealed a few interesting features
> that Python does not offer, and which are very appropriate in R context.
>
> For example, vectorisation is built-in (yet available on the Python
> side through Numeric or Numarray extensions). R also holds interesting
> (useful and flexible) ideas about argument passing and matching, lazy
> evaluation, and environments. And surely other things as well.
>

James Wettenhall started to relift OmegaHat's RSPython and made an experimental R-wxPython package which allows to use Python and wxWidgets with R... and we had the idea to use Boa Constructor for drawing dialog boxes for R (see http://bioinf.wehi.edu.au/folders/james/wxPython/). There are several other solutions to combine R and Python out there, like RPy. Sure, you have to learn and use TWO languages: R and Python... but that looks to me as close as the perfect combination, especially for building platform-independent GUI stuff for R, and get access to all the nice Python routines from within R.

Now, the bad news: James does not have time to continue the development of R-wxPython and some basic problems are not solved yet (under Linux?). I will (when I have time) update that R-wxPython web page. For instance, there is now a version of Boa Constructor that is compatible with the version of wxWidget used in R (2.5).

People that believe this combination is terrific, as I do, and who have knowledge on programming (especially Linux/Unix) are _very welcome_ to contribute in this project. R-wxPython is almost orphaned... before being really born. What a pitty!

Best,

Philippe Grosjean

P.S.: Tcl/Tk with tcltk package (+ the tcltk2 package I am working on, see http://www.sciviews.org/SciViews-R, and the James Wettenhall R-Tcl/Tk web pages I should also maintain in the future, see http://bioinf.wehi.edu.au/~wettenhall/RTclTkExamples/) is, of course, another well-established alternative... but without all the nice aspects of Python and wxWidgets!



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