RGtk2: A Graphical User Interface Toolkit for R

Michael Lawrence, Duncan Temple Lang

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Graphical user interfaces (GUIs) are growing in popularity as a complement or alternative to the traditional command line interfaces to R. RGtk2 is an R package for creating GUIs in R. The package provides programmatic access to GTK+ 2.0, an open-source GUI toolkit written in C. To construct a GUI, the R programmer calls RGtk2 functions that map to functions in the underlying GTK+ library. This paper introduces the basic concepts underlying GTK+ and explains how to use RGtk2 to construct GUIs from R. The tutorial is based on simple and pratical programming examples. We also provide more complex examples illustrating the advanced features of the package. The design of the RGtk2 API and the low-level interface from R to GTK+ are discussed at length. We compare RGtk2 to alternative GUI toolkits for R.

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