The discussion here of graphics defaults inspired me to collect this list of defaults in R graphics that I don’t like. In no particular order:
– Axes that extend below 0 or above 1
– Tick marks that are too big. They’re ok on the windows graphics device, but when I make my graphs using postscript(), I have to set tck=-.02 so that they’re not so big.
– Axis labels that are too far from the axes
– Axis numbers that are spaced too closely together
– A horrible system of cryptic graphics parameters (“mgp”, “mar”, “xaxs”, “xaxt”, etc)
– Too much space on the outside of the graph. This becomes a real problem when many graphs are put on the page. This can be corrected using mar, but it’s a pain, and lots of people don’t know about this and just use the default settings (which is why bad defaults are a problem).
I’m sure I could make my own functions to do this but I haven’t ever gotten around to doing this; I just copy code from old examples.
There are also things that I have to do by hand but should be done automatically (yes, I know that means I should write my own functions . . .), in particular, labeling individual lines directly on a graph rather than with a legend.
P.S. Yes, I know R is free so I shouldn’t complain . . .