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Alpha/X/Tk and R in OSX

This page is an extended discussion about how to make AlphaX and Alphatk interact with the statistical package R using AlphaTcl's S mode in Mac OSX. At present, the interactions promised by S mode do not work very well -- just trying to launch R is proving difficult, and attempting to process a file from Alpha is a far off dream. I (Craig) wrote S mode while using Alpha 7.x, and while everything seems to work MacClassic (though I admittedly haven't tested it in a while) trying to figure out what is or should take place in OSX is a challenge. After downloading and installing R, I couldn't even figure out how to launch it outside of Alpha!

I created this page because R might represent a class of applications in OSX that will present similar challenges, and as I slowly learn how to use R I think that the information that I gather might be useful for other users and developers. In the discussion which follows, <cbu> are comments from Craig Barton Upright, and <tlw> are comments from Tony Leroy Westerling. Feel free to add to this discussion, but please try to help keep this a coherent document that one can read straight through (and be sure to identify yourself with some consistent moniker).

Sections below include

  • Initial Request For Help
  • Downloading, Installing R
  • Launching R from a Terminal Window
  • Information on Fink
  • Additional Issues

Initial Request For Help

<tlw> I am a new Alpha user, trying to use R-mode in AlphaX 8.0b8 on a G4 running OS X 10.2.5. My R package is installed via Fink, so the R binary resides in /sw/bin/

I am having problems selecting my R application in S-mode preferences. I went to

    Config:S Mode Prefs:Preferences:Page 2:RSig

and clicked the "set" button.

R does not show up in the list of applications found (Alpha is looking in usr/bin?)

So, I selected "locate manually" and "communicate via the command-line" and click the "set" button.

Then I navigate to /sw/bin in the pop up window, select "R", and click on "open"

Page 2 of my Preferences for 'S' mode window now says

    RSig -- Unknown application with sig '/sw/bin/R'

when I select some R code in an open Alpha *.R file and attempt to send the commands to R via the S+/R menu, I get the following error message:

    Can't find app w/ sig "/sw/bin/R".  Try rebuilding your desktop or 
    changing your helper apps.

Can anyone tell me what is going wrong here?

Note that /sw/bin/R works just fine if typed from the command line in X11 or

I also tried creating a soft link to R in the /usr/bin directory, but interestingly the S mode configuration menu does add R to the list of applications found.

 Hi, Tony, I'm the current maintainer of 'S' mode.  I

originally created it using OS 8.1 for Alpha 7.3 . I then started for most of my statistical, and havent really

Page last modified on September 10, 2009, at 01:29 PM
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