Re: R-beta: Plot and scale

Bill Simpson (
Thu, 19 Mar 1998 11:44:26 -0600 (CST)

Date: Thu, 19 Mar 1998 11:44:26 -0600 (CST)
From: Bill Simpson <>
Subject: Re: R-beta: Plot and scale
In-Reply-To: <>

On 19 Mar 1998, Peter Dalgaard BSA wrote:

> Bill Simpson <> writes:
> > postscript(...,width=..., height=...) command.  I personally think it is a
> > design error in S-Plus/R for postscript() to modify the appearance of the
> > plot compared to how it looks in the Graphics window.
> Not unless you want all devices to give identical output.
> Different devices have different characteristics, media sizes, physical
> fonts, etc. postscript() and x11() are just two different device
> drivers. 
I knew people would disagree.
I have this opinion from years of working on the Mac, where the WYSIWYG
philosophy permeated everything.  The monitor and the printer were always
coordinated so the physical dimensions of a figure on the monitor and the
physical dimensions of the figure on the printer were identical.  (I
am including fonts of course) This was achieved despite the huge diffs in
monitor and laser printer resolution. I think this approach was also used
on NeXT.  And it is a wonderful time-saver for people who do graphics.
If you haven't experienced it, you don't know what you're missing.

Right now the only way to make figs look the way you want in R (X11) is
through trial and error (very time-consuming). (BTW using Mac R gives
figures with the lovely monitor=printer characteristics I've been talking
about, due to system software)

I know this lack of output device coordination was a design decision
(maybe not by S-Plus but at level of X-windows etc).  But it was a bad

Bill Simpson

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