[R] new cross-platform basic-statistics GUI

John Fox jfox at mcmaster.ca
Mon May 26 16:27:53 CEST 2003

Dear R-announce list members,

I've submitted a new package to CRAN, Rcmdr, which provides a 
cross-platform basic-statistics GUI for R. Rcmdr is based on the tcltk 
package and uses only standard Tk widgets. It therefore runs under Windows 
if Tcl/Tk support is installed with R, although it requires the 
single-document interface (SDI). I've tested Rcmdr with Windows and Red Hat 
Linux; others have reported that it works on other Linux/Unix and Macintosh 
systems (the latter under X11).

The R-Commander GUI consists of a window containing several menus, buttons, 
and information fields. The Commander window also contains a log/script 
box. The R-Commander menus are easily configurable through a text file. The 
menu tree and additional information are available at 

The menus lead to simple dialog boxes, the general contents of which are 
more or less obvious from the names of the menu items. These boxes have a 
common structure, including a help button leading to the help page for a 
relevant function.

Commands generated via dialogs are posted to the R session window, along 
with printed output, and to the log window. Lines in the log window may be 
edited and (re)submitted for execution. Logs can be saved and reloaded.

My object in designing and implementing this GUI was to cover the content 
of a basic-statistics course. The target text was Moore's The Basic 
Practice of Statistics, Second Edition (Freeman, 2000), which is the text 
that I currently use for a two-semester introduction to statistics for 
undergraduate sociology majors. The R Commander implements the content of 
this text plus some additional material (e.g., linear and generalized 
linear models). As a result of several suggestions that I received, the 
coverage is now larger than originally envisaged, and I'm happy to 
entertain suggestions for further additions -- keeping in mind, however, 
the intended limited scope of the project.

Until the package appears on CRAN, you can download the package source and 
a Windows binary from my web site. The Rcmdr package mostly uses functions 
in the base and recommended packages; it also uses some functions in my car 


John Fox
Department of Sociology
McMaster University
Hamilton, Ontario, Canada L8S 4M4
email: jfox at mcmaster.ca
phone: 905-525-9140x23604
web: www.socsci.mcmaster.ca/jfox

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