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Current news

RKWard 0.6.5 - Much improved preview functionality, and more

02 April 2016

Today, we are pleased to announce that again, a new version of RKWard is available for download. This new release fixes some compilation problems with the upcoming R 3.3.0. However, it is much more than a "hot fix" release. The most notable area of improvements have been previews: In addition to the time-tested plot previews, many RKWard plugins now provide previews of imported data, or results. Also, we have once again fixed various usability issues in this, and other areas (details below).

Meanwhile work continues on porting RKWard to version 5 ("frameworks") of the KDE libraries. The curious will find some first experimental binaries on our Release Schedule page.

As usual, please don't be shy of contacting us with your feedback, suggestions, and contributions!

The changes in detail:

  • New features and improvements
    • Add option to override CSS file used for the output window
    • Added context menu option to search for information on current symbol online
    • Provide better status feedback when searching / filtering among installable packages
    • Add access to basic menu items for docked previews
    • Move preview controls to the button-column of dialogs
    • Add preview to Sort data-, Subset data, and Recode categorical data-plugins
    • Add preview to Power Analysis plugin
    • Add support for adding "htmlwidget"- and "gvis"-class objects to the output window via rk.print()
    • Add plugins for importing Excel files (.xls and .xlsx, Perl- and Java-based)
    • Add ability to extract <matrix> values row-wise in plugins
    • Add convenience JS-function "makeOption()" for use in plugins
    • Add previews for CSV, SPSS, and Stata import plugins
    • Allow previews for data, (HTML) output, and custom types of previews
    • Allow previews to be docked to the dialog window, and dock them, by default
    • Implicitly save code preview visibility and size (instead of the former explicit settings)
    • data.frame objects outside of globalenv() can be opened read-only in an editor window
    • Show a warning screen when invoking plugins from the command line (or from clicking an rkward://-link in an external application)
    • Use package type option "binary" from R 3.1.3 onwards, for automatic selection of the appropriate binary package
  • Fixes
    • When manually adding pluginmaps, load these after, not before other pluginmaps, by default
    • Fixed: Wizard plugins would be too small, initially
    • Fixed: Help Search was not longer working correctly with R 3.2.x
    • Fix compilation with R 3.3.x
    • Fixed: Numerical (display) precision setting was not honored in data editor
    • Fix several window activation quirks in "Focus follows mouse" mode
    • File selectors in "Import XYZ" plugins now filter for standard file extensions, by default


Archived news 2016

RKWard 0.6.4 - Usability improvements, fixes, and preparation for porting to KDE frameworks version 5

21 December 2015

Shortly before the end of the year, a new version of RKWard is available for download. While the list of changes looks relatively short this time, beyond the usual fixes, with the help of usability expert Jan Dittrich, we have addressed some long standing potential for confusion in several important parts of RKWard's user interface.

Among the changes that do not quite show in our ChangeLog, we continue receiving more and more translations from the KDE language teams. Also we are working to finish our move to Importantly, we now track new issues on the KDE bugtracking system (see Bugs)). A lot of work went into the rkwarddev package to make the plugin generating code much more intuitive. In particular, see the documentation on the new js() function.

Finally, already looking ahead to forthcoming releases, we are making good progress on porting RKWard to the more modular, more modern version 5 of the KDE libraries (aka KF5).

As usual, please don't be shy of contacting us with your feedback, suggestions, and contributions!

The changes in detail:

  • New features and improvements
    • Plugins check for correct object type, in more places, but allow to proceed with questionable object selections
    • Switch to as primary issue tracker
    • Workspace browser gains functionality to search / filter objects by name, making it easy to find objects, quickly
    • Separate globalenv() and other environments in the search path more clearly in workspace browser
    • Complete rework of <optionset> UI for better usability
    • Some usability refinements to "Import CSV" plugin
    • Disabled the "Import Data"-dialog, as it was considered too confusing. The individual importers are still available from the menu, separately.
    • For multi-item varslots and valueslots, use separate buttons for adding / removing items
    • Don't show (useless) index number in mutli-value varslots and valueslots
    • Make the option to disable / enable editing more visible (in the data editor's toolbar)
    • Add context menu to HTML viewer window, including the ability to open links in a new window
    • Remove dependency on KHTMLPart
  • Fixes
    • Fixed: Plugin variable slots taking more than one object would not be highlighted in red while invalid
    • Fixed: RKWard package repository would be listed twice on fresh installations
    • Fix some minor toolbar glitches
    • Try harder to honor system locale settings
    • Remove obsolete "Export tabular data" plugin (superceded by "Export Table / CSV")
    • Do not invoke symbol name completion while in the middle (not end) of a word

Archived news 2015

RKWard 0.6.3 - Much improved support for translations, reworked plugin management, first release on

07 March 2015

A new version of RKWard is available for download, today. The new version brings changes all over the place: The distribution calculator plugins and the CSV-import plugin were reworked, from scratch. A plugin for test power analysis is now included in the default distribution. Also, the UI for managing pluginmaps has been reworked, to make it easier to deal with the growing number of plugins that are available for download, separately.

Perhaps the most important change is that RKWard, including its plugins, is now finally fully translatable. Not everything may be translated to your language, yet, but now it is possible, and the KDE language teams are doing a wonderful job at making RKWard available in your native language, soon.

Before reading on about the improvements and bugfixes in detail, be sure to check your browser's location bar: RKWard is now hosted at This is a move towards better services, more expert knowledge in our reach, and not least towards becoming even more open to your contributions. Don't be shy of contacting us with your feedback, suggestions, and contributions!

The changes in detail:

  • New features and improvements
    • New element <i18n> for use in plugins' logic section: Provides a translatable string property
    • New element <label> for use in plugin help pages: Copies the label-attribute of the given element into the text
    • New string property modifier "quoted" to make it easier to quote dynamic strings inside plugins
    • Reworked distribution calculator plugins
    • Added power analysis plugin (already existed as separate plugin)
    • Assume plugin .js files to be in utf-8 encoding; this allows using non-ascii characters in the generated code
    • <matrix> element gains options min_rows and min_columns, and the details of fixed_width="true" have been improved
    • Add R function rk.set.plugin.status() to allow further customization of loaded plugins (hiding of individual menu entries)
    • Pluginmap-management was reworked, partially, and moved to Settings->Manage R packages and plugins
    • Provide more detailed information on loaded plugins in rk.list.plugins()
    • Allow to override plugins from a different pluginmap (the plugin with the highest specified version is used)
    • When the RKWard installation has moved on disk, try to adjust stored .pluginmaps paths, accordingly
    • Allow opening RKWard's plugin files (with correct highlighting), and other text files
    • More robust control over placement of plugins within a menu
    • Restructure layout of CSV-import dialog
    • Allow to open (any number of) R script files and rkward://-urls from the command line
    • Add command line option --reuse for reusing an existing instance of RKWard
    • Be slightly(!) smarter about when (not) to ask for saving workspace on workspace load (e.g. not directly after workspace has been saved)
    • Change default in Workspace browser to showing only .GlobalEnv, initially
    • Support automatically generating a printable header parameter from most plugin elements
    • New Object based convience method for printing headers from plugins
    • Implement polyPath()-drawing in RK() device
    • Pre-compile the common js code included in every plugin (only when compiled with Qt >= 4.7)
    • Improve crash recovery dialog to not prompt again for the same files
    • Plugins and in-application help pages can now be fully translated
  • Fixes
    • Fixed: Hang when trying to select existing directories in file selectors on Windows
    • Fixed: <valueslot>s were quirky with respect to showing as invalid
    • Fix a hang-on-exit issue
    • Fixed: Error when using fix() or trace(...edit=TRUE) with default settings on some systems
    • Fixed: Freezes when using RKWard-functionality (such as the RK()-device) from tcl/tk (e.g. Rcmdr)
    • Fix several issues of excessive printing of digits in plugins' output
    • Fixed potential crash while the "RKWard Debug Messages" window is visible
    • Fixed display of file paths containing non-ascii characters in the title bar and startup dialog
    • Fixed some erroneous plugin debug messages

Archived news 2014

RKWard 0.6.2 - Graphics features come to the Mac, many new features for plugin development

20 October 2014

The RKWard team is proud to announce the release of version 0.6.2 of the free statistical software suite -- the first release since April 2013. Next to the usual round of bug-fixing, this release is packed with important new features. One of these is the new RKWard native on-screen graphics device RK(), which finally brings RKWard's graphics device features to the Mac. Plugin developers can utilize some new controls, and fetch information from R, dynamically.

At the some time several of the official plugins have been improved (e.g., the plot export formats now include support for tikzDevice; there's a new dialog to recode categorical data, and the linear regression dialog gains an option to save all predicted values to your workspace). But also there have been notable additions to RKWard plugins that can be downloaded from our external plugin repository. For instance, there is a new package rk.power which adds a GUI for power analysis and sample size estimation to RKWard.

The changes in detail:

  • New features and improvements
    • In data editor, indicate NAs, explicitly
    • Import Stata plugin gains option to convert character encoding.
    • New plugin for recoding categorical data
    • New embeddable (minimal) plugin "multi_input" to combine different input elements
    • Added command line option --r-executable for switching between several installations of R
    • Use a binary wrapper, instead of wrapper shell script for startup on all platforms
    • Linear regression plugin gains option to save predicted values
    • Add basic support to export plots using tikzDevice
    • Allow plugin UI script code to query R for information
    • Allow to connect <varslot>/<valueslot> source to any property, not just <varselectors>
    • New plugin elements <valueselector> and <select>
    • New plugin element <valueslot> for selecting arbitrary string values (otherwise almost identical to <varslot>)
    • <varslots> can be set to accept the same object several times. Used in scatterplot plugin.
    • New R function rk.embed.device() for manually embedding graphics devices in RKWard
    • Remove support for compiling RKWard in a single process (threaded) variant. This was not used / tested since RKWard 0.5.5
    • Shortcuts for the "Run ..." actions have been changed for better cross-platform compatibility
    • The script editor's "Run line" and "Run selection" actions have been merged
    • Add UI for configuring default graphics device, and embedding of standard graphics devices.
    • New RKWard native on-screen device (RK()). This is the default on-screen device in RKWard, now.
    • New R function rk.without.plot.history() for turning off plot history, temporarily
    • Add command line option --backend-debugger
  • Fixes
    • Fixed: Problems starting from paths with spaces in the file name on Windows
    • Fixed some compilation problems
    • Fixed: cbind-value of <matrix> element was missing commas
    • Fixed: Give a label to an unlabelled toolbar
    • Fixed: Adjust to (re-?)named parameters for options("pager")
    • Fixed: potential crash when a previously installed pluginmap is not longer readable
    • Fixed: R backend would exit immediately, without meaningful error message, if there is an error in .Rprofile (or
    • Fixed: Installing suggested packages from the package installation dialog was broken
    • Fixed: Selecting a mirror via the "R packages" settings page would not work when prompted for package installation form the backend

Archived news 2013

RKWard 0.6.1 - Support for R 3.0.0, new features for plugin developers

02 April 2013

A new version of RKWard is available download. The most important bit for most users will be that RKWard 0.6.1 works with the upcoming R 3.0.0, while the previous version will not work with this version of R. Users installing RKWard from source should note that you will have to compile RKWard after upgrading to R 3.0.0 or later. If in doubt, feel free to ask for help.

Besides compatibility, the new release brings new features and fixes. A particular development focus has been the addition of new options for plugin developers. For a more detailed description of the new features,see these mails, or refer to the usual documentation on writing plugins for RKWard.

The changes in detail:

  • New features and improvements
    • Add plugin for subsetting data.frames by rows or columns
    • On the Windows platform, add an new (experimental) binary startup wrapper (rkward.exe)
    • Added support for loaded namespaces that are not attached to a loaded package
    • Pluginmaps can specify their "priority". Pluginmaps with low priority will not be added automatically, when found.
    • Pluginmaps can <require> other pluginmaps based on their id (for cross-package inclusion)
    • Added new element <dependency_check> for dynamic version checks within a plugin (R and RKWard versions, only, so far)
    • Add guard against accidental usage of the standard distributed pluginmaps in a later version of RKWard (installed in parallel)
    • Easier (de-)activation of RKWard plugin maps using checkboxes (Settings->Configure RKWard->Plugins)
    • Broken or quirky .pluginmap files are reported to the user, completely broken maps are disabled, automatically
    • Implement basic dependency handling for plugins / pluginmaps
    • Added support for the upcoming R 3.0.0
    • Added <switch> logic element to switch between several target properties (or fixed values) based on the value of a condition property
    • Sort plugin gains option to sort data.frames by more than one column at a time, and options for type conversion
    • Add in-application debug message viewer (targetted at (plugin) developers)
    • Add setting to customize initial working directory
    • Windows only: Add UI-checkbox for R's "internet2"-option
    • New functions getString(), getList() and getBoolean() for fetching data in plugin scripts
    • Boolean properties now return a numeric, not labelled representation of their value, by default. <checkbox>es should be unaffected.
    • Added <optionset> GUI element for entering a set of options for an arbitrary number of items
    • Reduce CPU usage of plugins while idle
    • In the data.frame editor, columns containing invalid values are now highlighted in red
    • Added <matrix> GUI element for entering matrix or vector data in plugins
    • Improve key handling while editing factor levels in a data.frame
    • Added utiltity function rk.flush.output()
    • rk.set.output.html.file() gains argument to allow addition of custom content to the html header
  • Fixes
    • Add option to force-close a graphics window
    • Revert to building R packages form source on Mac OS X by default (controllable via compile-time option)
    • Fixed: lattice plots would not be added to the plot history, correctly, for some versions of lattice
    • Fix crash when trying to print, and neither okular, nor kpdf are available
    • Fix conversion from Numeric to Factor in the data editor
    • Fixed: If none of the previous plugin maps could be found on startup, re-add the default
    • RKWard is now categorized as Science/Math/Numerical Analysis in its .desktop file
    • Fixed: Yet another fix for hard-to-read function argument hints
    • Fixed: Device history was not working with more recent versions of ggplot2
    • Fixed: Option to include suggested packages in install was mis-labelled "install dependencies"

Archived news 2012

RKWard 0.6.0 is available - also on the Mac

24 October 2012

Today, a new version of RKWard is available for download. RKWard 0.6.0 adds initial support for debugging R code (a debugger console, and a display of current evaluation frames). Dialogs for - among others - t-tests and Wilcoxon-tests have been improved, a table of contents was added to the output window, and, as usual, many more features were added, and bugs were fixed, both in RKWard itself, and external plugins. Perhaps more importantly than all this, however, 0.6.0 is the first official release of RKWard to be readily available on Mac OS X.

Also, at this occasion, I'd like to take a short moment to look back: RKWard is approaching it's tenth anniversary, version 0.1.0 was released on November 19, 2002. During those ten years, at times, the project has been on ice, or going at glacial speed. But the project is still here and - driven by a wonderful community - it's looking younger than ever, after all this time. Many thanks to everybody involved!

As usual, please don't hesitate to send us your feedback.

The changes in detail:

  • New features and improvements
    • Preview device windows will display some status information (most importantly, warnings or errors)
    • Most plot plugins gain options to control margins and tick label orientation
    • Added option for installing packages from source (implicitly enabled on Unixoid platforms)
    • Omit comments on missing function calls in dialog code windows (e.g., if prepare() is unused, there's no "## Prepare" in the output either)
    • Output markup is now more XHTML compliant and easier to parse
    • Also save cursor position, folding, etc. for scripts. Note: Implementation details may be subject to change.
    • New function rk.list.labels() to retrieve column labels in a data.frame
    • rk.get.label() will now return an empty string ("") instead of NULL, in case no label is assigned
    • Do not offer to restore individual removed columns of a data.frame opened for editing
    • combined all Wilcoxon/Mann-Whitney-tests in one plugin (from previously two separate plugins)
    • Added polyserial/polychoric correlations to correlation matrix plugin
    • Added more compression options to the "Save objects as R code" plugin
    • Added MacPorts support, see README.MacPorts and bundle build script in the macports folder
    • Added dynamically generated table-of-contents menu to output document
    • Allow some markup inside <text> elements in plugins, and auto-add breaks only for duplicate newlines.
    • Reorganized t-test plugin, and add support for single sample t-tests
    • Box plot plugin gains more options for adding means
    • Improve keypress handling issues in the R Console, when the cursor or a selection is outside the editable range
    • Only install translations which are at least 80% complete (not counting strings in plugins, which are not yet translatable)
    • When asking for workspace file to open, use appropriate file filter
    • When configured to ask for workspace to open on startup, don't prompt to save, first
    • Simplified the "Sort Data" plugin, and added a help page
    • Added GUI support for inspecting the call stack during debugging
    • The backend executable is no longer linked against KDE libraries
    • Objects, which are not acceptable in a varslot, will still be shown, there, with a warning
  • Bugfixes
    • Fixed: Entering "0" as propabilities (quantiles) vector in distribution plugins would cause error message
    • Fixed: Wrong handling of carriage returns ('\r') in the console window
    • Fixed: Spinboxes had wrong initial values
    • Fixed: Changed configuration settings would not be saved for script editor
    • Fixed: One character missing in R commands on lines longer than 4096 characters
    • Fixed: "Next"-button in wizards would remain enabled while settings are missing on a page
    • Fixed: Dynamic pages in a wizard would cause a layout bug on the first page
    • Fixed: Plot history and graphical menus broken in some cases with R 2.15.0
    • Fixed: If the rkward package was loaded in a plain R session, q() and quit() still work
    • Fixed: Would not show output of system() commands to stderr on the console (on Unix-like systems)
    • Fixed: Function argument hints for the second half of the parameter list would not be quoted, correctly
    • Fixed: Failure to open workspaces with non-latin1 filenames from the command line
    • Fixed: Saving / restoring workplace layout would fail when saving to directories with unusual characters
    • Fixed: potential crash when clicking "Select all updates" in the package installation dialog
    • Fixed: potential crash in object name completion under certain conditions
    • Fixed: On Windows, detached windows would sometimes be positioned with the menubar outside the upper screen edge

RKWard 0.5.7 - Support for R 2.14.0, improved package management, and more

23 October 2011

RKWard 0.5.7 is available for (download) today. Importantly, this version supports the upcoming version 2.14.0 of R. But there are many more reasons to update, today: We have re-thought our approach to downloading RKWard add-ons, and have replaced out previous solution with one that is based on regular R packages. Some first add-ons based on the new solution are already available, including the rkwarddev-package, aimed at making it even easier to create plugins for RKWard. As a side product, the package installation dialog has been modernized. But also there are many new features and bugfixes all over the place.

Read on, below, for more detail. And remember: We need your feedback!

The changes in detail:

  • New features and improvements
    • Offer to add a new library location, automatically, if location selected for installation is not writable
    • Reworked package installation / update dialog
    • Documentation on writing RKWard plugins is now accessible, locally
    • The file filter for R script files is now configurable, and includes *.Rhistory, by default
    • More obvious coloring of variable entry fields requiring user input in plugins
    • Default size of the code display in plugin dialogs has been increased
    • Removed support for downloading plugins using GHNS
    • Added support for RKWard plugins shipped inside R packages
    • Removed option to set options("printcmd")
    • New option to run arbitrary (setup) commands in each session
    • Added new pseudo graphics device "rk.printer.device" to provide printing via the KDE printer dialog
    • Support the results list new in R 2.14.x, which includes vignettes and demos
    • rk.edit.files() and gain parameter "prompt", which can be used to suppress user prompt
    • Added function rk.demo(), which is similar to demo(), but opens the example script in a script editor window
    • Added shortcut Ctrl+Enter to insert a line break and submit from a script editor
    • Reduce CPU usage while idle
    • Bar plot, dot chart, pie chart, and Pareto plot plugins gain more tabulation options
    • rk.results() now prints rownames, where appropriate
    • "frame" elements in plugins can now be made checkable
    • Disabling or hiding a plugin component makes it non-required, implicitly
    • Box plot gains option to dogde grouped boxes
    • Simplify internal handling of system() and system2() output
    • Simplify code produced by several plugins
  • Bugfixes
    • Fixed: Would not system-defined text color for argument hints
    • Do not treat arrays (which are not a matrix) as hierarchical named objects in the object browser
    • Do not analyse more than 100000 name child-objects per object (avoids hangs on such extreme data)
    • Fixed: Problems with using mclapply() inside RKWard
    • Fixed: Integrated help browser would not update navigation history when following page internal links
    • Fixed: PDFs and many other types of documents linked from help pages would not be opened, correctly
    • Added support for R 2.14.x
    • Fixed: Printing was broken when kprinter is not available
    • Fixed: Some plugin dialogs would not become visible, or be shown in very small size, with some window managers
    • Fixed: Potential crash when using context menus with "focus follows mouse" window activation policy
    • Fixed: Occasional duplication of first letter of keyword, when using "Copy lines to output" from the console window

Archived news 2011

RKWard 0.5.6 - Assorted new features and fixes

30 May 2011

Sometimes, it is not easy to summarize the changes that happened in only a bit over two month of development. Besides the usual bug-fixes, RKWard 0.5.6 (download) brings many small improvements all over the place. For users working with many different windows, the new Ctrl+Tab window switching feature will be of particular interest. R experts will appreciate that S4 slots and package namespaces can now be explored in the workspace browser. The output window can now also be used, easily, to document snippets of R code (including syntax highlighting) and the corresponding R output.

For more detail, read on, below, and most importantly, be sure to give the new version of RKWard a try. Remember: Your feedback is important!

The changes in detail:

  • New features and improvements
    • Add simple man page for command line options
    • Replace the R console's "Copy selection cleaned" action with "Copy commands, only", which will omit any non-command regions in the copy
    • Add "Copy lines to output" action to copy highlighted lines from the R console or script editors to the output window
    • R commands and their output can be "carbon copied" to the output window
    • On Windows, RKWard will detect, and offer to disable "native" file system dialogs
    • Object browsers that show only the global environment now hide the ".GlobalEnv" item
    • Added function rk.print.code() to write highlighted R code to the output window
    • Box plot plugin gains support for grouped outcome data
    • Crosstabs N to 1 plugin gains options to compute proportions and margins (thanks to Andrés Necochea)
    • Added convenience R function rk.list() to allow simplification of plugin code
    • Added stack-based window switching using Ctrl+(Shift)+Tab; this replaces the old "Next Window" and "Previous Window" actions
    • Provide a template for bug reports, containing standardized information on the RKWard setup in Help->Report Bug...
    • When loading a (local) workspace, change the working directory to the directory of the workspace (configurable)
    • Include the sidebar position of tool windows when saving / restoring the workplace layout
    • "Pending jobs" tool window is not longer shown in the bottom sidebar by default
    • Support removing individual tool windows from the sidebars, completely
    • Add an action to interrupt all (current and pending) commands
    • File browser context menu gains many more KDE standard actions (KDE 4.3 and above, only)
    • Auxiliary binaries rkward.bin and rkward.rbackend are no longer installed into /usr[/local]/bin/ on Unix
    • Support function argument hinting for R primitives
    • Support package namespaces in object name completion and workspace browser
    • Support S4 slots in object name completion and workspace browser
    • Support plot history for ggplot2 plots
    • Be less pro-active about fetching structure information on R objects in the workspace
    • Allow to browse arbitrarily deeply nested environments in the object browser
  • Bugfixes
    • Fixed: Would crash when searching for a term with quotes in the help search window
    • Fixed: Potential crash when creating plots from a tcl/tk based GUI
    • Fix compilation on FreeBSD
    • Fixed: Function argument hints would not be shown in some corner cases
    • Fixed: Pressing Ctrl+C would not reset syntactically incomplete commands in the R console
    • Fixed: Graphics device windows would disappear when trying to attach them to the main window with some versions of Qt
    • Fixed: tcl/tk widgets would lock up after running commands in the R Console
    • Fixed: When saving the workplace while closing the session, the workplace layout would not always be saved correctly
    • Fixed: Object name completion would abort early in the script editor with KDE 4.4
    • More correct handling of quotes in object name completion

RKWard 0.5.5 - Enhanced robustness and many small improvements

19 March 2011

On the surface, RKWard 0.5.5, released today (download) may appear to bring only few changes. Internally, however, the GUI and the R engine have been split into two separate processes. This brings better robustness, and better compatibility of RKWard esp. with R packages based on rJava and RGtk2. In addition, many bugs and quirks have been fixed in various areas. And, in case you experience a crash despite of these improvements, RKWard 0.5.5 will attempt to create an emergency save file of your data in the last moment.

Please give this new version of RKWard a try, and don't forget: We are always eager to hear your feedback!

The changes in detail:

  • New features and improvements

- Re-organize the default toolbar actions of the main window - Detached windows are now restored in detached state when restoring the workplace layout - Workplace layout is now saved in a separate file, instead of in a hidden object inside the .RData file - Added R functions and rk.restore.workplace() to save / restore a set of document windows - RKWard now tries to detect, when a workspace has been moved to a new directory, and adjust the paths restored script editor windows, accordingly - All pages in the package installation dialog now support sorting and keyboard search - Allow entering factor labels instead of only numbers, when editing factors in the data editor - Display logical values as "TRUE" and "FALSE" in data editor, and accept "T"/"TRUE"/"F"/"FALSE" in addition to "0"/"1" while editing - Add support for R functions loadhistory(), savehistory(), history(), and timestamp () - Moved automated testing framework moved to a dedicated R package "rkwardtests", and added documentation - Support pasting to the middle of the current command line in the R Console - Better handling of script-editor commands while the R Console is busy - GUI frontend and R backend now run in separate processes - Re-write of large portions of the R embedding code - Attempt to save workspace on crashes - Removed the remainder of the PHP scripting backend

  • Bugfixes

- Fixed: Crash when several environments on the search path have the same name - Fixed: Potential crashes when changing length of a data.frame that is currently opened for editing from R code - Fixed: Converting from factor to string in the data editor set values to numeric, internally - Fixed: On Windows, a wrong locale for LC_NUMERIC would be applied, resulting in malfunction of pdf() and postscript() - Fixed: Did not use system configured background color in data editor - Fixed: New columns would be always be added to the right, instead of to the left, in the data editor - Fixed: Would crash when trying to edit 0 row data.frame - Fixed: Output generated by external processes (system()) was not shown on the console - Fixed: Converting a variable to factor in the editor would drop existing levels, silently, and lead to NAs - Fixed: Cursor would keep jumping to the end, when typing a filename in the filename selection field in plugins - Fixed: Submit button would not become enabled in "Basic Statistics" plugin - Fixed: Portions of multi-line commands entered on the R Console would be run twice under some circumstances - Fixed: Lockups or crashes when using packages RGtk2 or rJava on the X11 platform - Fixed: R task callback handlers were not called - Do not load .RData file from current directory by default (configurable) - Correct interleaving of multi-line commands and the corresponding output in the R Console - Fixed: Did not respect system settings for tooltip background color in some styles - Fixed: Installation would continue, seemingly successfully, even if R support libraries could not be installed - Fixed: Function argument hints would sometimes persist after closing a script window - Fixed: Would fail to analyse structure of ReferenceClass-objects - Fixed: "Vector" mode in "Paste special" action did not work correctly - Also try to relay SIGABRT and SIGILL to the proper signal handlers - Fixed: Would crash on tcl/tk events in some cases

Archived news 2010

RKWard 0.5.4 - Plot history, bug fixes, and new possibilities for plugin writers

04 October 2010 - User:Tfry

The most visible change in RKWard 0.5.4 (download) may be the addition of a plot history for the on-screen graphics device. Supporting both regular and trellis plots, this can facilitate the creation and management of plots, considerably. Further, the data.frame editor now supports row names, and plugin authors now have new possibilities for scripting plugins, which we hope to put to good use in the coming releases. Documentation has been added for the functions in the rkward R package. Beyond that, there has been the usual bug fixing, and a number of assorted small new feature additions.

The changes in detail:

  • New features and improvements

- Added full-featured plot history for the onscreen graphics device - Added option to specify default onscreen graphics dimensions - Added option to disable function argument hinting - New functions and for user interaction from R code - New options for scripting GUI logic in plugins - The current object of an active data editor can be referenced in plugins - Allow sorting of results in help search window - The save-object selector in plugins now allows to save as part of a data.frame / list - Support row names in the data.frame-editor - Added option to autosave script files (enabled by default) - The tabbar in the main window now shows a context menu with options to close/detach a window - The tabs in the main window can now be re-ordered by dragging with the mouse (left click if compiled with Qt 4.5 or above, middle click for earlier versions) - Added alternating row backgrounds in data.frame-editor

  • Fixes and corrections

- Fixed: Running user commands would crash with R 2.12.0 - Fixed: Potential crash when editing data-frame with duplicate column names - Fixed: Graphics windows used to assume a minimum size of 640*480 pixels, even if a smaller size was specified - Fixed: Placement of several menu items was broken - again - with KDE 4.4 and above - Fixed: CPU usage would go to 100% for no good reason under certain circumstances - Fixed: On some systems, would spawn two new graphics windows - Fixed: When starting with an empty table, RKWard would sometimes claim that this object has been removed - Fixed: Would crash when trying to configure toolbars under certain circumstances (workaround for bug in kdelibs) - Fixed: Crash while analysing some objects returned by XML::xmlParseTree() for invalid XML - Fixed: Error while installing packages with R 2.11.0, when archiving packages in a non-existing directory

We always welcome your feedback!

RKWard 0.5.3 - New features, and no longer depends on PHP

30 April 2010 - User:Tfry

RKWard 0.5.3, is available for download, today. Internally, the largest change in this release is that plugins no longer use PHP for scripting but Javascript. This reduces the requirements for running RKWard, considerably, and also fixes a number of issues. While this change should be largely invisible to users, this version incorporates a number of new features and bugfixes, esp. on windows.

The changes in detail:

  • New features and improvements

- File browser window saves settings on exit - Plugin dialogs are shown with a larger initial size - Add close buttons to each tab in the main document view area (not available in KDE 4.0) - Make "print", "export as HTML", "dynamic word wrap", and "increase/descress font size" available for the console window - Use a native menu, instead of the default TclTk-menu - Added "paste special" action to script editor and console for pasting R vectors and matrices from spreadsheets - File->Open R Script File now allows to specify the character encoding to use - Initialize the output file with an appropriate encoding specification - Add SVG support to export (graphics) plugin - Add basic settings format settings for graphics output - Convert all plugins to use ECMAscript instead of PHP; RKWard no longer depends on PHP

  • Fixes and corrections

- Fixed: Windows->Activate->Window left / right actions were always disabled - Several windows-specific bugs were fixed - Fixed: Newly created variables were not properly updated when closing and re-opening the editor - Fix order of menus for detached windows - Fixed: No entries were added the recent script/workspaces actions after "save as" - Fixed: Frequent crashes while running automated plugintests - Fixed: Filenames without extension would not be shown in file dialogs - Fixed: Calling "fix(" would remove comments - Fixed: Removing "@CRAN@" from the repositories would break package installation

We always welcome your feedback!

RKWard 0.4.9c - Backport of R 2.10.0-support

18 March 2010 - User:Tfry

RKWard 0.4.9c, is available for download, now. This is a backport of some bugfixes from the 0.5.x-series of RKWard, most importantly providing support for the new help system in R 2.10.x. Also, a number of plugin enhancements has been backported from the main branch.

Most users will not want to use this version! RKWard 0.4.9c is intended for systems which are still limited to KDE 3, only. Where KDE 4 libraries are available, we recommend using RKWard 0.5.2.

The changes in detail:

  • Backport all plugin changes and additions up to RKWard 0.5.2
  • Add support for the dynamic help server introduced in R 2.10.0
  • Backport some improvements in event handling
  • Fix deadlock while handling some Tcl events
  • Fix: Warn before saving file that was modified on disk, externally
  • Fix: Do not try to open mimetypes other than text/html directly in the help browser.
  • Fixed: Screen device in rkward was not seen as interactive by R

We always welcome your feedback!

Archived news 2009

RKWard 0.5.2 - Support for R 2.10.0 and many small improvements

26 October 2009 - User:Tfry

RKWard 0.5.2, is available for download, now. This version brings a number of small changes all over the place. Perhaps most importantly, support was added for the new dynamic help system in R 2.10.0 (also released, today). Apart from that, the toolbars are now configurable, plugin dialogs do not stick around, a plugin was added for Stata import (by Michael Ash), a number of bugs was fixed, and many more small things as detailed, below:

The changes in detail:

  • New features / improvements

- Add Stata data file import plugin (by Michael Ash) - Plugin dialogs close automatically after submitting (by default) - Fetching object structure is much faster for very large data.frames - "Analysis" menu was restructured, slightly - On plugin help pages, display a link to invoke the plugin - Double-clicking an item in the workspace browser now opens an object viewer, or (if possible) editor - Safeguard against removal of essential packages via the GUI - Add context menu action to unload packages in the workspace browser window - Add shortcut to the load / unload packages dialog also in the workspace menu and the workspace browser context menu - Make toolbar buttons configurable

  • Fixes and corrections

- Add support for the dynamic help server introduced in R 2.10.0 - Assorted minor fixes and improvements to several plugins - Fix deadlock while handling some Tcl events - Fix crash when loading certain packages on Windows - Fix some potential path issues on Windows - Fixed: Console window would sometimes remain in partially active state after piping commands

  • Internal changes

- Tolerate missing libraries in testing framework - Debug output (previously sent to stderr) is now written to a temporary file - All directly accessible plugins now have at least one automated test

Please send us your feedback!

RKWard 0.5.1 - New Features and Initial Windows Port

04 August 2009 - User:Tfry

RKWard 0.5.1, is available for download, now. Perhaps most excitingly, this is the first official version of RKWard to also be available for the Windows operating system. The Windows port still has some issues, but we hope to iron those out in the coming release(s). On Linux/BSD systems, RKWard 0.5.1 also comes with new features. Perhaps most importantly, the output window now has links to re-run a plugin with the same (or adjusted) settings, and the keyboard shortcuts can finally be customized to your own liking.

The changes in detail:

  • New features
    • New command line option "--evaluate <Rcode>" mostly for the purpose of automated testing
    • Add basic checks for a correct installation of the RKWard resource files
    • Remove "What to expect" dialog at startup
    • Make keyboard shorcuts configurable
    • Add option to add only single line commands from script editor to the console history
    • Add action to change working directory to that of the current script file
    • More plugins now write a header to the output window
    • Add convenience function "makeHeaderCode()" for use inside plugins
    • Plugins can be invoked from R code (mostly for internal purposes)
    • Add "Run again" link for plugin generated output
  • Fixes and cleanups
    • Remove support for R 2.6.x and earlier
    • Fixed: No warning was shown, when an open script file was changed on disk, externally
    • Fixed: Opening most file types (e.g. PDF) from the help browser was broken
    • Fixed: Make built-in editor work again for file.edit ()
    • Fixed: All objects in .Globalenv would be revisited if a single object was added / removed
    • Fixed: Screen device in rkward was not seen as interactive by R
    • Adjust some icons

Please don't hesitate to send us your feedback.

RKWard 0.4.9b and 0.5.0d - Bugfixing and backports

11 May 2009 - User:Tfry

A new set of RKWard releases is available for download. This brings another series of bugfixes to the KDE 4 branch of RKWard (0.5.0d) and long awaited backports to the KDE 3 branch (0.4.9b).

The changes in detail:

RKWard 0.5.0d (KDE 4)

  • Fixed: Container of detached windows would sometimes remain after reattaching
  • Fixed: Global toolbar style was not honored
  • Fixed: Auto-scroll missing in progress dialogs and data editor
  • Fix jumping toolbar
  • Fixed: Several harmless warnings were silenced
  • Fixed: Argument hints would always stay on top regardless of focus
  • Fix crash when reaching bottom of command history in context sensitive search
  • Fix crash while inserting rows in a data.frame with string variables

RKWard 0.4.9b (KDE 3)

  • Workaround: Deactivate all filemanagement shortcuts in the File Browser. These would sometimes trigger when they should not.
  • Fix crash while inserting rows in a data.frame with string variables
  • Fix immediate crash issue with R 2.9.0 (requires recompilation against R 2.9)
  • Fix device window capturing with R 2.8.0
  • Extended boxplot plugin
  • Support data.frames in barplot plugin
  • New set of plugins: Item Response Theory (by Meik Michalke)

If you have feedback, if you need support, or if you want to help, let us know.

RKWard 0.5.0c - Maintenance and more

March 30 2009 - User:Tfry

After a long time without news, a new RKWard release is finally available for download. Most importantly RKWard 0.5.0c addresses problems that have arisen due to changes in KDE and in R.

However, RKWard 0.5.0c also comes with a whole set of plugins dealing with Item Response Theory, contributed by Meik Michalke.

Bug fixes and maintenance:

  • Fix assorted installation problems
  • Updated translations: German, Spanish
  • Fix immediate crash issue with R 2.9.0 (requires recompilation against R 2.9)
  • Fixed some shortcut problems with KDElibs 4.2.x
  • Fixed: Several icons would not be loaded
  • Fix device window capturing Qt 4.4.3 (possibly other versions were broken as well)
  • Fix device window capturing with R 2.8.0

New features and improvements:

  • Extended boxplot plugin
  • Support data.frames in barplot plugin
  • New set of plugins: Item Response Theory (by Meik Michalke)

Version 0.5.0c is available on the download page. For feedback and support, contact us on the mailing list.

Note: A backport of the applicable fixes to KDE 3 is planned, but will take some more time to complete.

Archived news 2008

Maintenance releases 0.4.9a and 0.5.0b

April 20 2008 - User:Tfry

Both the KDE 3 and KDE 4 versions of RKWard have been updated today. Most importantly RKWard now compiles with R 2.7.0 (which is due to be release, officially, soon). Both releases are available from the download page.

For the KDE 3 version (RKWard 0.4.9a), the only changes are:

  • Support from compilation with R 2.7
  • New plugin: Hodrick-Prescott Filter
  • Fixed some lockups during startup

The KDE 4 version (RKWard 0.5.0b) has the following changes:

  • Support compilation with R 2.7
  • New plugin: Hodrick-Prescott Filter
  • Fix a problem with plugin help pages not loading correctly
  • Better resize handling in progress and R input (readline()) dialogs
  • Somewhat better handling of the R event loop (esp. when calling "require(not_yet_installed_package)")

As usual, your feedback is welcome on our mailing list.

Bugfix release 0.5.0a (for KDE4)

January 23 2008 - User:Tfry

A simple but important bug in RKWard 0.5.0 was discovered a bit too late (in most plugins no objects were selectable at all). This is corrected in version 0.5.0a, which is available for download, now. Please use this version instead of RKWard 0.5.0. Other than the correction there are virtually no changes since 0.5.0.

RKWard 0.5.0 for KDE4 is released

January 21 2008 - User:Tfry

The first version of RKWard for KDE4 is available for download, now. The list of actual enhancements (see below) is relatively small, but internally a lot of code has been rewritten. The move to KDE4 / Qt4 provides a new foundation for RKWard, and offers a number of promising opportunities for further development, which we hope to put to good use, soon. The list of current changes over 0.4.9 (as far we kept track of them):

Bugfixes and internals:

  • make sure that R only handles SIGSEV, when the R thread is active. Should give better backtraces and less hangs
  • port to KDE 4

UI enhancements and new features:

  • object viewer was redesigned to use space better, and only fetch the print-representation when needed
  • add support for a focus-follows-mouse activation behavior of the MDI windows (Settings->General)
  • ability to mark arbitrary "blocks" in script editor and run them with a shortcut
  • more icons added
  • data.frame editor can be set to read-only mode
  • code completion in script editor shows icons for the different object types
  • settings dialog is now shown in "page tree" mode

Please note that this release has seen considerable code changes. This should fix a lot of small bugs not listed above, but also, of course, we expect there are a number of new bugs that we did not discover during testing. If you find some, or would like to share your opinions on RKWard, please contact us on the mailing list.

NOTES: Versions of RKWard 0.5.0 or higher are designed for KDE 4, and cannot be used with KDE 3. For KDE 3 use the 0.4.x versions. The build system was changed to CMake. Read INSTALL (also provided in the source .tar.gz) for details on how to build RKWard. Due to clashes with kate default shortcuts, the shortcuts for Run->Run Line, Run Selection, and Run All were changed to Shift+F7, Shift+F8, Shift+F9, respectively.

The tabs in the main workplace view no longer have a close button that is shown when hovering the mouse over the respective icon. Rather, there is a single button to close the current tab, shown at the right of the tab bar

RKWard 0.4.9 is released

January 14 2008 - User:Tfry

Version 0.4.9 of RKWard is now available for download. The following changes are contained in the new release:

  • Enhancements:
    • Improved user interface for CSV import plugin
    • Support drawing grids in histogram and stripchart plots
    • New plugin: Levene test
    • New plugin: Jarque-Bera test (by Germán Márquez Mejía)
    • Use the KDE default fixed spacing font for command log and object viewer
  • Bugfixes:
    • Fixed: Crosstabs plugin produces better output
    • Fixed: use.value.labels option was wrong in SPSS import plugin
    • Fixed: SPSS tables would only be imported to the workspace, when the edit option was checked
    • Fixed: correct installation of rkward.desktop file

In case you are wondering why the list of changes is shorter than usual: This release is one of the last releases of RKWard for KDE 3. Meanwhile we've been working hard to produce a version which will run natively in the newly released KDE 4. This will be released as RKWard 0.5.0 in - according to plan - roughly one week. We will continue to support KDE 3 versions of RKWard for some time to come, and probably also provide some new or improved plugins, but the main development will focus on KDE 4 versions of RKWard from now on.

Remember: Your feedback is always welcome on the mailing list.

Archived news 2007

Bugfix release 0.4.8a

November 11 2007 - User:Tfry

While development continues on the next versions of RKWard (including a port to the upcoming KDE 4), we would like to address some bugs that were discovered since the release of RKWard 0.4.8. This release (download) does not add new user features, but fixes several problems. The changes in detail:

  • Bugfixes:
    • More reliable C stack limit detection on some systems
    • Fixed: Console accepted pasted input while a command is running
    • Fixed: Analysis->Moments->Moment plugin did not use the order-parameter
    • Fixed: Crash on simple assignments in globalenv() with R < 2.4.0
    • Fixed: Meta information (labels) did not get shown correctly in the data editor
    • Fixed: Pressing the add button in a varslot with no object selected could crash RKWard
  • Internal changes:
    • Add command line option "--debugger" for debugging purposes

As usual, we welcome your feedback on the mailing list.

Version 0.4.8 is released

October 03 2007 - User:Tfry

Version 0.4.8 of RKWard is available for download, now. The new release features changes all over the place, including new plugins, an integrated filesystem browser, and several bug fixes. Also optimizations were done to speed up some aspects, slightly, and to reduce typical memory usage, considerably. Many thanks to all who helped with the release. The full list of changes:

  • User visible additions / improvements:
    • New plugins: pie chart, dot chart, crosstabulation, two time-series tests, and basic linear regression
    • barplot plugin allow specification of custom labels
    • graphics export plugin gains option for EPS compatibility
    • CLT plugins allow drawing grid
    • commands run through the console from the script editor will now be added to the command history (this can be turned off in the settings)
    • object viewer also shows summary information, gains an update button, and MDI integration
    • add max.print option to R-Backend settings dialog * all file selection line edits gain filename-completion
    • add a basic file selector window
    • show the focus indication (thin red border) also for detached windows
    • tool windows can be closed and detached in the same way as regular windows
    • Messages, warnings, and errors for plugin commands are shown in the output, instead of in a dialog
    • new translation: Simplified Chinese (contributed by Roy Qu)
  • Bug fixes:
    • fixed: promise objects (created by delayedAssign()) directly in globalenv() would be forced early
    • make wrapper script work, when konsole is not installed
    • correct syntax highlighting for ::: and NA_integer_ and others
    • fixed: crash when editing a data.frame with logicals (logicals are still mishandled, but less severe)
    • fixed: would not work with R 2.6 * more compilation fixes for GCC 4.3
    • fixed: inserting / removing rows in the data editor in the presence of invalid fields in later rows would lead to a crash
    • fix some internal problems with enabledness/disabledness of plugin components
    • fixed: sometimes detecting created X11() windows would fail, esp. under high load
    • fix a crash with detached tool windows
  • Optimizations:
    • syntax highlighting is minimally faster for long outputs
    • some complex plotting plugins now start up noticeably faster
    • create the workspace browser only when it is first shown
    • add possibility to blacklist packages from fetching structure information. Package GO is blacklisted by default.
    • when fetching the structure of "promise" R objects, don't keep them in memory
    • optimize the function to retrieve the structure of R objects (for display in the object browser, and completion)
  • Miscellanious / internal:
    • silence some GCC 4.2 warnings
    • support for including files and snippets in xml files
    • add command line option --disable-stack-check for systems where R C stack checking is buggy
    • the modifier "not" for boolean properties returns a (negated) boolean sub-propery instead of just a string


  • R 2.6.0: Previous releases of RKWard will not work with the upcoming R 2.6.0. You need RKWard 0.4.8 (i.e. this release) in order to work with R 2.6.0. Note that when upgrading R after RKWard, you will need to recompile.
  • With the addition of the new filesystem browser, the shortcuts to show/hide the main tool windows have changed. The filesystem browser window can be toggled using Alt+2, the shortcuts for command log, pending jobs, console, and help search are now Alt+3 through 6, respectively, instead of Alt+2 through 5.
  • All commands run through the console are now added to the command history of the console, by default. This setting can be changed back to the old behavior (only commands *entered* in the console are added to the history) under Settings->Configure RKWard->Console.

Enthusiastic? Disappointed? Need help with RKWard? Your feedback is welcome on the mailing list.

Bugfix release 0.4.7a

May 07 2007 - User:Tfry

Recently, some problems have been discovered related to resolving some fortran symbols, on at least some systems. Since these can make RKWard crash even on simple operations, and not compile on some systems, a bugfix release dealing with these issues has been prepared. While at it, a number of additional bugfixes contained in the development version have been included, here, as well.

In detail, the changes are:

  • add sanity check for the detected stack limits
  • fixed: one some systems rkward would crash or not compile due to missing fortran symbols
  • fixed: starting the scatterplot plugin in wizard mode would crash rkward
  • tab-completion in the console will do partial completion, if all potential completions have a common start
  • fixed: file-name completion would always assume the home directory as the current directory
  • update turkish translation
  • compilation fix for FreeBSD (thanks to Thierry Thomas)
  • fixed: when executing commands line by line from the script editor, line breaks would be omitted

If you are experiencing any of the above problems, please download and upgrade to version 0.4.7a of RKWard.

RKWard 0.4.7 released

April 11 2007 - User:Tfry

Version 0.4.7 of RKWard is now available for download.

Once again the list of new features and improvements is long. Most importantly, a large number of plugins has been added, making more R statistics features available via graphical dialogs. Many thanks to all who contributed to this release!

The changes in detail:

  • New and improved plugins:
    • t-test plugin now also allows to calculate a paired test
    • new plugin: Phillips-Perron test
    • new plugin: Mood test
    • new plugins: CLT plots for most distributions
    • new plugins: variance tests (F test (var.test), Bartlett test, Fligner test)
    • new plugin: generic plot
    • new plugin: Add grid to plot
    • new plugin: pareto chart
    • new plugin: stem-and-leaf plot
    • new plugins: outlier tests (chisq.out.test, dixon.test, grubbs.test, outlier)
    • new plugins: support of all tests from moments package
    • import SPSS and import CSV plugins gain option to open object for editing, automatically (checked by default)
    • several existing plugins have been improved in various ways
  • Bug fixes:
    • some fixes for GCC 4.3
    • fixed: the presence of user objects called "missing", "assign", or "get" would confuse some RKWard internals
    • fix a crash that occurred during startup under some circumstances
    • when flushing the output, also delete all graphs
    • make sure not to run parts of an incomplete user command. It would lead to all sorts of subtle problems
    • fixed: changing the type of a column in the data editor was broken
    • fixed: quitting while a plugin was still active would sometimes crash rkward
    • better error handling in PHP backend
    • fixed: depending on some buffer sizes, plugins could get stuck while generating code
    • fixed: plugin browser type="dir" would not work correctly
    • fixed: graph previews would stop working when the interface is switched from dialog to wizard or vice versa
  • Other user visible improvements:
    • use maximum permissible width in the object viewer
    • show current working directory in the statusbar
    • add run selection action to all HTML windows
    • add custom icons for run line/selection/all
    • if an incomplete command was piped through the console, the console does not become blocked for piping
    • make "run current line" advance the cursor to next line after running
    • warnings and errors are highlighted in command log / console (warnings only for R >= 2.5.x)
    • also support filename completion in the console (mode of completion is determined by heuristic means)
    • the currently active window is now highlighted using a thin red border
    • new shortcuts for window navigation: next/previous window, activate console, activate command log, etc.
    • make readline dialog store last size and position
    • several new help pages
    • warn when opening very large objects (with more than 250000 fields; this limit is configurable)
    • new options for plugin dialogs: Configure whether code display is shown by default, and at what size
  • Internal improvements:
    • add option to enable / disable single options of a radio or dropdown control in plugins
    • new functions rk.describe.alternative () and rk.print.literal () for use in plugins
    • in help files, a short title for sections (for the navigation bar) can be defined
    • add support for a "technical details" section in plugin help files
    • initial support for R's Sys.setlocale(), and encoding of CHARSXPs
    • plugin generated commands are run in a local() environment, allowing for more concise code
    • support R's mechanism for checking the C stack limits (only with R 2.3.x or greater, and not on all platforms)
    • add a "copy" tag to facilitate writing plugins with both dialog and wizard interfaces

We're looking forward to your feedback on the mailing list.

New mailing list: rkward-users

April 04 2007 - User:Tfry

The past few months there has been a lot of active development on RKWard. The outcome of this - version 0.4.7 - is scheduled for release, next week. As a side effect, our main mailing list has become rather busy, with lots of discussion about development details. At the same time, the stats show a nice number of downloads, and hence a considerable increase in the RKWard user base.

For these reasons, it's time to create a dedicated users' mailing list. This list will be read by most active developers, and it will receive notifications about the most important steps of development (new testing versions and releases). However, instead of discussing low level details, this list will provide a better forum for discussing usage questions, but also for providing suggestions and feedback.

If you'd like to keep informed on all development details (and perhaps provide insights and contributions on that), you may want to subscribe to our "old" development mailing list. If you're mostly interested in questions of daily use, the new users' mailing list is the best choice. Or subscribe to both, if you don't want to miss a thing.

RKWard 0.4.6 is out

February 15 2007 - User:Tfry

Version 0.4.6 of RKWard is available for download.

Most prominently, this release features many new plugins, making more of the power of R available via graphical dialogs. A big thank you goes to all volunteers who contributed to this release. The full list of changes:

  • New and improved plugins:
    • support for calculating p-values in correlation matrix plugin
    • simplified CSV import plugin
    • new plugin: import SPSS files
    • various improvements to existing distribution and distribution plot plugins
    • new plugins: distribution plots: beta, binomial, cauchy, exponential, gamma, geometric, hypergeometric, logistics, lognormal, negative binomail, tukey, uniform, weibull, wilcoxon
    • new plugin: Ansari-Bradley two-sample test
    • support for preview functionality in graphing plugins
    • new plugin: barplot
    • new plugin: export contents of an X11 device to several different file formats
    • plugins can now be context sensitive (e.g. work on a particular x11 device)
    • new plugin: Wilcoxon Rank Sum test and Wilcoxon Exact Rank Sum test
    • new plugin: scatterplot matrix
    • new plugin: correlation matrix plot
    • new plugin element to select name of an R object to save to
    • add possibility to use dropdown lists in plugins
    • improvements to spinbox: step size is adjusted dynamically, and no arbitrary limits in real mode
    • fixed problem with specifying y axis limits in several plugins
    • single line input fields in plugins no longer accept new-lines
    • pressing tab changes focus while in a single line text input field
  • Other new features and improvements:
    • new documentation pages: console
    • place internal objects .rk.rkreply and .rk.available.packages.cache into rkward package environment
    • safer destruction of R backend on quitting
    • show full error message for syntax errors (only if compiled with R 2.4.0 or newer)
    • add ability to search command history context sensitively
  • Bugfixes and corrections:
    • make sure any LC_ALL environment setting will not be applied by SCIM plugin (if installed on the system)
    • fix crash after changing storage type of an object in the data editor
    • fixed: pressing F8 in the console would remove input focus from the console
    • fix several small problems with detached windows
    • fix a problem with keeping the list of objects up to date
    • fixed: installing packages as root would not work, when $R_HOME is not defined
    • fix compilation for the upcoming R 2.5.0
    • more correct auto-printing of values for user commands (only if compiled with R 2.4.0 or newer)
    • more correct handling of user commands consisting of several statements (only if compiled with R 2.4.0 or newer)

For feedback on the new release, and RKWard in general, contact us on the mailing list.

RKWard 0.4.5 is released

January 21 2007 - User:Tfry

Once again, it's time to announce a new release of rkward. Version 0.4.5 is available for download.

Note that a few aspects of the user interface have changed for this release. We hope these changes will make RKWard's user interface easier to learn and use, but existing users will have to adapt to the following UI changes:

  • changed shortcuts for Open/Save Workspace to Ctrl+Shift+O/S to avoid clash with Open/Save Script File
  • removed "Configure Packages" option from Workspace menu, as it is also in Settings menu
  • removed the "output" menu; entries were moved to "Edit" and "View"
  • added refresh output and flush output as toolbar actions
  • always show all top level menus

Further changes in RKWard 0.4.5:

  • Bugfixes / corrections:
    • fixed: non-local workspaces would not be loaded
    • fixed: specifying a workspace to load on the command line would only work for full urls
    • fix: the output window would not refresh changed plot images (unless closed and reopened)
    • fixed: integer spinboxes with starting values greater than 1 would get unreasonable change steps
    • fix several minor issues as identified by the "krazy" source code checker
    • small improvements to syntax highlighting definition
    • fix compilation with some versions of KDE / GCC
    • assorted cleanups
  • Plugins:
    • added plugin for skewness and kurtosis
    • added several plugins for distribution analysis
    • added plugins for stripchart & density plot
    • enhancements to existing plot plugins
    • code generated for most plugins cleaned and simplified
    • new function rk.results () for use in plugins
  • Other new features / improvements:
    • new Console RMB actions: "copy selection cleaned" and "run selection"
    • added a basic help system, and some introductory help pages
    • allow varslots to request objects of specified dimensionality and length
    • in console, make cursor go to empty next line after pressing enter, before there is output (more like in the real console)
    • add "run selection" option to command log
    • script editor commands are piped through the console (by default; this is configurable)

Got feedback about the new release or RKWard in general? Please contact us on the mailing list.

Archived news 2006

RKWard 0.4.2 released

December 04 2006 - User:Tfry

A new release of RKWard is available for download, today. The new version has seen many small changes all over the place. Among the more noteable additions are some new and improved plugins, new and updated translations, and also R X11 device windows are now integrated into the rkward GUI with some added functionality.

The list of changes in 0.4.2:

  • Bugfixes / corrections:
    • fix help menu for detached windows
    • fixed: selecting Window->Close in a detached window would only close the internal view, not the window
    • when detaching a window, give it a more reasonable size
    • do not open the same script url twice (instead the corresponding window is raised on the second attempt)
    • fixed: when closing a detached script editor window, you would not be asked to save changes (if any)
    • fixed: occasional crash when re-attaching a script editor window
    • fix bug in rk.get.label ()
    • properly support active bindings in globalenv ()
    • if not started in a tty, spawn a konsole. R will go into non-interactive mode otherwise
    • in script editor, do not provide symbol name completion while in comments
    • spelling corrections in distributions menu
  • Translations:
    • new translations: Greek, Catalan
    • updated translations: German, French
  • Feature additions and improvements:
    • code generated by scatterplot plugin is simplified somewhat
    • add comment headers to the sections of commands produced by plugins
    • if a user command results in the output html file to be modified, auto-refresh output
    • add RMB menu to script editor windows
    • add options "clear" and "configure" in the console RMB menu, and the command log RMB menu
    • add option to save workplace layout not per workspace, but at the end of the session
    • add options ("printcmd") to settings
    • R X11 device windows are now managed by rkward, with the following initial features:
      • R X11 device windows: attach to / detach from workplace (they start detached)
      • R X11 device windows: toggle between normal resize mode and (settable) fixed size with scrollbars
      • R X11 device windows: menu options to copy / print / duplicate / save / activate devices
    • added basic plot facility for ECDF (Empirical Cumulative Distribution Function) (menu plots)
    • added ptukey and qtukey (Studentized Range Distribution (Tukey)) (menu distributions)
    • reorganized "Descriptive Statistics" plugin to use tabs for better usability
    • added constant for mad in descriptive statistics plugin

Obligatory Douglas Adams reference for this version number: RKWard won't give you the answer to all questions, yet, but it does compute 6*7 reliably. So try the new release, and send your feedback to the mailing list.

RKWard 0.4.1: bugfixes, and code completion

November 06 2006 - User:Tfry

A new version of RKWard is available for download. Most importantly, a good number of bugs has been fixed, and RKWard gains code completion and function argument hinting features in console and script editor. The complete list of changes:

  • Bugfixes:
    • fix bug in beta probabilities plugin
    • fix (some?) compilation problems with KDE 3.2
    • fix to plugin input lines sizing, and visibility of scrollbars
    • prevent infinite recursion when parsing structure of environments
    • fix for compilation on 64bit architectures
    • don't crash when closing a detached window
    • fixed: an empty table created before the object list was updated (esp. at startup) would be thought to have been removed in the workspace
    • fixed: back / forward buttons would sometimes remain after closing a help window
    • fix some focus problems
    • remove misleading "About KDE" dialog, and replace report Bug dialog with correct information
  • New features and improvements:
    • allow specification of title/subtitle in plot options plugin (currently used by boxplot, and histogram)
    • when packages have been newly installed, show them in the load / unload packages tab immediately
    • on startup, show window maximized if no size stored (i.e. very first startup)
    • function argument hinting in the console and script editor
    • as you type completion of R symbol names in the script editor
    • tab completion of R symbol names in the console
    • added R function rk.edit (x) to open object x for editing in rkward
    • object data changed in the console (or by other means) is updated to the editor automatically, if the object is opened for editing
    • provide close buttons in tab bar

As usual, we're interested in your feedback on the mailing list.

RKWard 0.4.0 released

October 17 2006 - User:Tfry

Once again, it's time to announce a new release of RKWard is available for download. Perhaps most importantly, this release enables you to browse the entire R workspace, including objects in R packages. In future releases this will allow us to implement helpful features such as code completion and argument hinting, so stay tuned for what is still to come.

The list of changes in 0.4.0:

  • Features / improvements:
    • many new distribution plugins
    • all distribution plugins now use a free-text field, allowing you to enter a vector of probabilties / quantiles
    • RMB option to search help on objects from packages in object browser
    • show tooltip information on objects in object browser
    • the object browser is updated automatically when needed
    • allow some more configuration in object browser
    • include all package environments in object list
    • add (ugly) items for functions and lists to object browser
    • when saving/loading the workspace, save / restore all windows (not just data editors)
    • add mismatching brace detection to syntax highlighting
    • RKWard should now be fully UTF-8 aware. All characters are passed to and from R reliably
  • Bugfixes:
    • another fix to cancelling during readline () calls
    • do not crash on call to "browser ()"
    • remember workspace url after save as
    • fix a long standing (but hard to trigger) crash while closing data editor window
    • fix "Open R Script File" filename ending filter
    • yet another crash on more than 100 rows bug fixed
  • Internal changes:
    • invalid values are stored in a separate attribute instead of changing the storage mode back and forth
    • storage mode for RKWard meta data was changed (see note below)
    • internal cleanups (partially to make porting to KDE4/Qt4 easier)
    • use more efficient data passing to synchronize object list

Please give the new release a try, and send your feedback to the mailing list.

Note: The way meta information (most importantly the descriptive variable labels in the data.frame editor) is stored was changed in this release. When loading workspaces created with earlier versions of rkward, this information will not be available (the data is not affected, however). To convert your saved workspaces to the new format, 1) open the workspace in question, 2) run the command "rk.convert.pre040 ()" in the RKWard R console. We're sorry about the inconvenience.

RKWard 0.3.7 is out

September 17 2006 - User:Tfry

A new release of RKWard is available for download. This release contains mostly small changes all over the place, but also fixes some important issues. The changes in detail:

  • Bug fixes:
    • small fixes in several plugins
    • avoid lockups when cancelling a readline ()
    • don't crash on more than 100 rows of data in the editor (off by 2 bug in storage allocation)
    • correctly initialize the internal NaN representation (would sometimes be initialized to 0, resulting in 0s not to be shown in the editor)
    • commands producing lots of output would sometimes be impossible to interrupt. Fixed
    • sometimes the last level in the factor levels editor got lost. Fixed
    • fix spurious line breaks in output in command log and console
  • Package installation / updating:
    • packages can be installed to custom library locations
    • semi-automate package installation in response to "require ()" calls
    • the online list of available packages is cached up to one hour (and only as long as the relevant options are unchanged)
    • give better progress indication
    • package dependencies are handled correctly when installing new packages
  • Showing command output:
    • show output context (if any) when the backend asks for input via readline ()
    • do not raise the command log more than once for a given command producing continuous output
    • deal better with commands producing large amounts of output
    • show command output immediately in command log
  • Compilation:
    • link against if it is found in the R libs dir (needed for some compiles of R 2.4.0)
    • fix compilation with GCC 4.1
    • honor DESTDIR setting while installing rkward R package, and add configure option --with-r-libdir
    • only link against -lRlapack, if that is available
  • Assorted changes:
    • Improved syntax highlighting defintion including code folding
    • engine status bar label ("R engine busy/idle") now changes background color according to state
    • small improvements to command history in console
    • remember location where R script/workspace files were last opened, and start file-selection dialogs there
    • remove whitespace from start and end of plugin generated commands and do not evaluate empty commands
    • added Turkish translation

RKWard always needs user feedback to improve further, so please try out the new release, and tell us what you think on the mailing list.

Bugfix release 0.3.6

April 23 2006 - User:Tfry

Much sooner than expected, a new release of RKWard has been made available for download. Most importantly, contrary to our expectations of one week ago, RKWard 0.3.5 will not work with the upcoming R 2.3.0, so a new release was needed quickly.

Despite the limited time, a number of further bug-fixes and small improvements have made it into the new release. Here's a mostly complete list of changes:

  • Compilation / Installation:
    • remove configure options --with-r-share and --with-r-doc (obsoleted by improved wrapper script)
    • some fixes for R 2.3.0
  • Bugfixes:
    • clean up output of require (quietly=FALSE)
    • middle mouse pastes selection, not global clipboard in the console, as expected
    • make Ctrl+V work in the console
    • fix bug in scatterplot plugin
    • don't try to show higher numeric precision than is actually available
    • use KDE standard icons in object lists (need to be replaced by customized icons in the long run)
    • check for and handle some strange R parse errors that could crash rkward
    • several fixes to the distributions plugins
  • Improvements / features:
    • make Ctrl+C/copy work in output and help windows
    • allow empty input in readline ("R backend requests information") dialog
    • process R X11 events while modal dialogs (such as "R backend requests information") are shown
    • pressing Cancel in readline ("R backend requests information") dialog interrupts the command
    • prevent R-Object listviews (Varselector, Workspace Browser) from growing excessively wide
    • allow deletion of several rows at once in the data.frame editor and fix some bugs regarding deletion of rows
    • make Ctrl+C copy work in the code window of plugins
    • remove one level of menu nesting for save/load R Objects plugins
  • Internal changes:
    • remove debian dir from source distribution again (for better packaging)

As usual, we'd be interested to read your feedback on the mailing list.

Important Note: RKWard 0.3.6 can be compiled (and of course run) with R 2.1.x, R 2.2.x and the upcoming R 2.3.x. However, when upgrading from R 2.2.x to R 2.3.x, you will have to re-compile and re-install RKWard. Also, if your distribution currently ships a pre-release version of R, chances are, RKWard will not yet work with that version (but you may want to give it a try). You'll have either downgrad to 2.2.x temporarily, or upgrade to the final release of R 2.3.0 once available. To be precise, SVN revision 37824 is the first pre 2.3.0-version of R, RKWard 0.3.6 will work with.

Currently a pre-compiled .deb package of RKWard is provided for R 2.2.x releases. A .deb package compiled for R 2.3.0 will be made available as soon as possible.

We're very sorry about the inconvenience, but unfortunately, there is nothing we can do about it.

RKWard 0.3.5 is out

April 16 2006 - User:Tfry

Finally a new release of rkward is available for download. The focus of this new release has been on reworking the code responsible for dealing with plugins, and on fixing many small bugs. However, also a number of new features/improvements have been done since the last release. Most noteably, there are new plugins for Histograms and Boxplots, and for many distribution functions. A mostly complete list of changes:

  • Bug fixes:
    • give back focus to the script editor after running line/selection/all
    • clean up R temporary files on shutdown
    • fix crash with objects with quotes in their names
    • avoid leftover PHP processes if rkward crashes or gets killed
    • code display (for plugins) gets updated reliably
    • handle non-existing and non-local URLs
    • use a shell wrapper around rkward to do some setup just like R. This should fix a number of minor quirks (links) in help window
    • update tab caption for command editor if filename changes (i.e. saved as)
    • keep main window caption up to date
    • fix status bar
    • in trailing rows/columns of the data.frame editor, change background color, when selected
    • explicitely set LC_NUMERIC to "C" at startup. R does not work correctly with other settings of LC_NUMERIC
  • New features:
    • added syntax highlighting in the console
    • show info message, if retrieving context help fails
    • pressing Ctrl+C in the console resets a partial command, if any
    • backspace or del clear cells in data.frame editor
    • when switching between dialog and wizard interfaces, GUI settings are copied
    • add options to show help-search and R help index to Help menu
    • many new plugins by Stefan Roediger
    • indicate if a document in a command editor is modified (unsaved)
  • Compilation / installation:
    • configure: if not overriden, and $KDEDIR is not set, assume --prefix=`kde-config --prefix` instead of /usr/local/kde/
    • autodetection of R_HOME and related variables during configure
    • configure: use single configure option for location of R_HOME, and add check for
    • most of the time you will no longer need to specify options for ./configure
  • User Interface improvements:
    • reworded exit dialog box
    • remove some GUI clutter for Script File editor
    • rename "Command File" to "Script File"
    • rename "Command Stack" window to "Pending Jobs"
    • reworked factor levels editor
  • Assorted:
    • complete rework of plugins code
    • plugins can embed other plugins
    • yet more code cleanups

Please give the new release a try, and send your feedback to the mailing list.

Important Note: If you see the message "Error: C stack usage is too close to the limit" on the console, this is due to a small but grave bug in R. This bug is present only in a few pre-release packages of R 2.3.0, but some of those are floating right now. If you encounter this bug, you will have to either downgrade your version of R, or wait until fixed packages are available for your distribution. If in doubt what to do, ask us for advice on the mailing list.

Archived news 2005

RKWard 0.3.4 released

November 2005 - User:Tfry

A new version of RKWard is now available for download. Changes include:

  • Bug fixes:
    • fix installation of standard_plugins.pluginmap
    • make "up"-button work in R-backend repository settings
    • Settings->Command Log->show/raise window working again
    • assorted other bugfixes, including fixes to linkage, fixes for crashes, etc.
  • New features / improvements:
    • real time display of command output in the console
    • automatically scroll command log to the bottom when new lines are added
    • back/forward navigation in help pages
    • can print help pages and output
    • better handling of errors while installing packages
    • allow loading/saving of command history (console commands)
    • allow interrupting current command running in the console via Ctrl+C
    • add "Command stack" window for advanced control of R backend (cancel commands, pause chain, view stack)
    • allow configuration of many R options in Settings->R backend
    • avoid adding incomplete (multi-line) Console commands to the Command Log
  • User interface:
    • less verbose output in command log (removed "issuing command", etc.)
    • help-, output-, and editor-views can be detached to separate windows
    • allow to bypass startup dialog
    • limit number of lines to display in console and command log (user setting)
    • remove menu clutter from help window, and output window
    • add (meaningful) context menu for console
  • Translations:
    • updated French translation
  • Internal / technical changes:
    • include debian-dir in source distribution
    • use KXMLGUI for placing plugins in the menu (mostly an internal change, but menu placement should remain sane, when active window changes, now)
    • modifiy rkward.desktop to always start rkward in a terminal. The backend sometimes behaves strangely, if this is not done
    • use available.packages instead of CRAN.packages (deprecated in R 2.2.0)
    • more code cleanups

Please check out the new release, and tell us what you think on the mailing list.

Note: If you have previously been running version 0.3.3 of RKWard, you may have a bad saved setting for the location of .pluginmap-files. In this case RKWard will complain about missing plugins on startup. In order to fix this, go to Settings->Configure RKWard->Plugins and remove all entries for .pluginmap-files. After that, quit, and restart RKWard. The correct location of the standard plugins should then be autodetected.

Bug in RKWard 0.3.3

October 12 2005 - User:Tfry

One fairly important bug went unnoticed, when preparing the 0.3.3 release. An important file did not get installed, and this will lead to RKWard being unable to find its plugins. Fortunately, this can be worked around by simply installing one additional file.

Download this file. It needs to be installed to $prefix$/share/apps/rkward/standard_plugins.pluginmap, where $prefix$ is the directory you specified as --prefix when running ./configure. So, for example, for debian, it has to be installed to /usr/share/apps/rkward/standard_plugins.pluginmap

Sorry about the inconvenience.

RKWard 0.3.3 is released

October 10 2005 - User:Tfry

Together with the new website, a new version of rkward is now available. Changes in the new release can be grouped roughly in these categories:

  • Feature additions: Options to archive downloaded CRAN packages, and to select custom repositories. Context help in the console via F2.
  • User interface: The user interface is now somewhat more consistent. For instance, all windows can be closed with Ctrl+W, and the menu options get updated according to the current window. New icon by Marco Martin
  • Backend enhancements: A number of internal changes have been made. What should be noteable to regular users is that RKWard now behaves sanely, if you run commands like "fix (myfunction)" or "help (print)". Also warnings are now displayed correctly in most cases.
  • Plugins: A first step has been done to rework the plugin infrastructure. The next release will see further improvements
  • Cleanups & Bugfixes: A number of bugs has been fixed, many sections of dead code have been removed, several areas of the sources are much cleaner, and more well-documented, now.

For a complete list of changes, please see the changelog in the download section. Please give the new release a try. We welcome all feedback to the mailing list.

New website for RKWard

October 10 2005 - User:Tfry

Unless you're here for the first time, you'll have already noted: Finally the old RKWard website has been replaced with a new, pretty, and flexible website. A very big thank you goes to Yves Jacolin, the one who worked hard to create it!

The new website is divided into three main sections, you can navigate between using the links on the top of each page. The User section contains usage information on RKWard, screenshots, and FAQ. Developers will find additional information in the Development section. Finally, a new Wiki is available, where users can help us create new documentation on RKWard, but also discuss translation, and development issues.

Also, you will note that the new website is designed to be multi-lingual. So far, little has actually been translated, but we will work hard on providing the most important information in several languages (work has started on a French translation). If you can help with this, please contact us on the mailing list. Old news items - tfry - On the 07 October 2005 -

With the new website layout, we switched to our own news system. This new system allows us to post news in a number of different categories, and filter them according to those categories - such as news of interest to users vs. news for developers. Also, news can now be translated. Older news items, posted prior to the switch, are still available from the sourceforge archive.

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