[R] Rcmdr X11 protocol error message

Michael Bibo mbibo at qldnet.com.au
Wed Sep 1 13:20:59 CEST 2004

John Fox wrote:

>Dear Peter and Michael,
>I installed Quantian on  a spare machine that I have and observed the same
>warning messages that Michael has been reporting. These (and the problem
>with help files but not with viewing data sets that Peter reported) occurred
>with version 0.9-11 of Rcmdr but not with an earlier version.
>Since the code for the Rcmdr package was substantially reworked this summer,
>that seems to me a good candidate for the source of these problems, though I
>don't see why the changes should be problematic. I'm afraid that I'm
>insufficiently familiar with the inner workings of X11 and Tcl/Tk to be much
>help in figuring out what's wrong. Everything seems to work fine under
>Windows, as far as I can tell.
>It occurs to me that if the warning messages are benign, one approach would
>be to suppress them. I already intercept warnings and present them in dialog
>boxes; I could grep for "X11 protocol error" and simply ignore these. That
>doesn't seem to me a good solution, however. It would be better to
>understand what's happening.
>I'm copying this message to Dirk since he's mentioned that he plans to put
>the newer Rcmdr in Quantian. Dirk: Have you tested with Rcmdr 0.9-11?
>Thank you.
> John
John, Peter and Dirk,

I'm glad I'm not the only one with a handle on it now.  I've already 
exceeded my level of knowledge and skill in both Linux and R.  But I'm 
happy to help track it down, if I can be of assistance.  As I have said 
to John, the major value of Rcmdr to me is to help 'sell' R to others in 
my organisation currently using SPSS, and for this purpose, the Windows 
version at work is working fine.  It is more of an annoyance at home, as 
it doesn't seem to stop anything working.

Peter asked:

BTW, sometimes Tk errors allow you to see a trace of the execution.
Would this happen to be one of those situations?

The short answer is I don't know (see my first line :-)).  There is no 
button on the dialogue box saying 'more details...' or anything that 
obvious.  Is there a log file somewhere on the system or some other way 
to generate such a trace?

I have been experimenting, and the following seem reliable (at least on 
my system):

Error messages don't seem to happen for the first graph generated.  The 
second graph drawn also generates an error dialogue box with the error 
message repeated about 11 times.  The third and subsequent times exactly 
the same graph is generated leads to an error message repeated about 21 
times.  (I don't know if the number of repetitions is meaningful).  Note 
that the graphs are generated and visible when the error messages appear.

Running any analysis that only writes output to the output window (such 
as fitting a regression model) generates the error messages before the 
output is written to the output window.  The output appears when the 
error dialogue box is OK'd.  I guess it's more likely to be responding 
to exiting the dialogue box than writing the output.  But this only 
happens when such error messages have been generated previously in that 
session by creating a (second) graph.

If the diagnostic panel plots for a regression model are called, the 
error messages appear, but this time the plots themselves are not 
visible in the graphics device (it is blank).  When the error messages 
are OK'd, the plots appear in the device.

When exiting Rcmdr, then, and OK'ing the "Exit?" dialogue box, the final 
error messages appear, but again only if they have already been 
generated by a graph call.

I don't know if this will be helpful, but I thought reliable 
observations might give some clues.



michael_bibo at health.qld.gov.au

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