[R] A useful GUI?

Frank E Harrell Jr fharrell at virginia.edu
Mon Jul 23 19:43:44 CEST 2001

I saw an ad in the July 2001 Amstat News for a complex sample
survey analysis package called Wesvar.  The package has
what appears to be a useful feature called a "Workbook"
by which the user navigates analysis output.  This is a
hierarchical tree in which the user may click on a part
of the analysis (table, regression fit, descriptive stats,
etc.) so as to go directly to that output.  Recent versions
of SAS have something similar.  In SAS the title of a
graphic may be what appears in the navigation tree, and
clicking on that entry will replay the appropriate graph.

Has anyone had experience with such GUIs and would comment
on productivity or documentation benefits?  I wonder
what would be the most platform-independent way to
implement such a feature, e.g., dynamic html, if it is
useful to statisticians.

On a related note, I routinely use postscript files and
Ghostview for generating and debugging graphics.  Has
anyone seen an application like Ghostview that is more
dynamic?  I would like to have a multi-tabbed graphics
window that automatically refreshes a graph when the
postscript file changes and that graph is visable.  Tabs
could be identified by file names or by text used
in a title( ) call.  If postscript were an intrinsic
image type supported by html browers this could probably
be done elegantly with an html generator.
Frank E Harrell Jr              Prof. of Biostatistics & Statistics
Div. of Biostatistics & Epidem. Dept. of Health Evaluation Sciences
U. Virginia School of Medicine  http://hesweb1.med.virginia.edu/biostat
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