Re: R-beta: netscape/R interaction

Douglas Bates (
18 Jun 1998 13:04:29 -0500

Subject: Re: R-beta: netscape/R interaction
From: Douglas Bates <>
Date: 18 Jun 1998 13:04:29 -0500
In-Reply-To:'s message of Thu, 18 Jun 1998 12:45:35 -0500 (CDT) writes:

> Using netscape 4.03 (or 2.x or 3.x)/ R-0.62.1 with SPARC Solaris 2.4:
> when netscape is running for help, graphics in R quit with "Color allocation
> error". Closing netscape removes the problem. netscape does not interfere with
> other X11 imaging programs including ghostscript and ImageMagick except that it
> increases the contrast in my mailer windows slightly.
> (netscape does block launching of Solaris imaging and help tools. I have
> e-mailed netscape through every generation about this problem but with no
> response. our systems people tell me that this kind of problem with netscape
> exists on all of our SPARCstations and with some software on our MS-Windows
> machines leading to their recommendation of a different browser.I have tried a
> different browser (w3) but that alternative is significantly slower.)

You are running out of colors in your color map.  A typical X server
with 8 bits per pixel only has 256 different colors available at any
time.  Both Netscape and R will use up several of these colors.

Do you know how many bitplanes you can make available for your X
server?  If you can change from 8 bits per pixel to 16 bits per pixel,
that is by far the simplest thing to do.  At 16 bits per pixel you can
run "truecolor" with a 565 weighting (5 bits for red, 6 bits for
green, and 5 bits for blue) and you don't have to mess with color

If not, try using emacs and ESS (Emacs Speaks Statistics), the emacs
mode for running R (and S-PLUS and xlispstat and SAS and ...).  The
help facilities are integrated into ESS so you can display help pages
without having to go through a browser.

ESS is available from
Douglas Bates                  
Statistics Department                    608/262-2598
University of Wisconsin - Madison
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