Re: [Rd] Revision of shell.exec?

From: Uwe Ligges <ligges_at_statistik.tu-dortmund.de>
Date: Thu, 15 Sep 2011 10:27:28 +0200

On 14.09.2011 22:15, Brian Oney wrote:
> Hi there,
> new idea (at 10 at night). All the emails keep me thinking (btw thanks
> for all the feedback).
> What does this do on linux?
>
> getOption("pdfviewer")
> ### I got this idea from: getS3method("print","vignette")
>
> On windows, (an advantage...) somebody wrote a little program "open.exe"
> that comes stock with an R-installation, which somehow accesses the file
> system to find the default program to for a certain file type. I am
> guessing this little beauty is the engine of "shell.exec".

No. It simply uses ShellExecute() in windows.h, i.e. defined in Microsoft's Windows User Interface.:
http://msdn.microsoft.com/en-us/library/bb762153%28v=vs.85%29.aspx

Uwe Ligges

>
> (An honest) cheers,
> Brian
>
> On 9/14/2011 7:49 PM, Simon Urbanek wrote:
>> On Sep 14, 2011, at 1:10 PM, Henrik Bengtsson wrote:
>>
>>> On Wed, Sep 14, 2011 at 8:35 AM, Simon Urbanek
>>> <simon.urbanek_at_r-project.org> wrote:
>>>> On Sep 14, 2011, at 11:08 AM, Brian Oney wrote:
>>>>
>>>>> Hi Steve,
>>>>>
>>>>> a quick look at "browseURL" will tell you that indeed "system" or
>>>>> "shell.exec" (on a windows platform) is used to open up a URL.
>>>>> The "open " part of the proposed function was written to work on a
>>>>> Mac. Because Mac is a unix platform, I assumed that the function
>>>>> "open" would be omnipresent on unix platforms, my mistake.
>>>> Well, the problem is that "open" is unfortunately mapped to openvt
>>>> on Linux systems which is a quite obscure anachronism. But since
>>>> Linux is Linux there is no standard way to open a file, so it
>>>> doesn't really matter ;) -- xdg-utils come closest to what one may
>>>> call standard but on many systems they are not installed by default
>>>> (in fact on none of the Linux machines I have around). For URLs R
>>>> does the hard work to try to figure out what to do with them (it
>>>> also does the same for PDFs), but you may end up opening things in a
>>>> browser although that's not what you had in mind.
>>>>
>>>>
>>>>> Well I guess, we know how to make to work on a mac.
>>>>>
>>>> Yes, "open" works very well on Macs and is extremely useful (I use
>>>> it all the time - among other things you can use it with directories
>>>> to browse them...) - it is still beyond me why other unices don't
>>>> bother ...
>>> Apple probably patented it.
>>>
>> I'm pretty sure it's at least as old as NeXT so that's way before the
>> abuse of software patents ;) - but who knows ...
>>
>> Cheers,
>> S
>>
>>
>>
>>> /Henrik
>>>
>>>> Cheers,
>>>> Simon
>>>>
>>>>
>>>>
>>>>> I will make the transition to Linux and get back to this in a
>>>>> while, ok?
>>>>>
>>>>> Cheers,
>>>>> Brian
>>>>>
>>>>>
>>>>> On 9/14/2011 2:50 PM, Stephen Weston wrote:
>>>>>> 2011/9/14 Uwe Ligges<ligges_at_statistik.tu-dortmund.de>:
>>>>>>> On 14.09.2011 12:27, Brian Oney wrote:
>>>>>>>> Hi List,
>>>>>>>> I hope this is correct list to propose function extensions,
>>>>>>>> sorry if not.
>>>>>>>> I am preparing for a (hopefully painless) migration to linux. As
>>>>>>>> far as
>>>>>>>> I am aware of, the function "shell.exec" only comes with the
>>>>>>>> windows
>>>>>>>> version. I think this is a handy little function and would like
>>>>>>>> to see
>>>>>>>> my scripts work when I migrate.
>>>>>>>>
>>>>>>>> May I propose something (like the following)?
>>>>>>>>
>>>>>>>> open.file<- function(file) {
>>>>>>>> if(.Platform$OS.type=="windows") {shell.exec(file)} else
>>>>>>>> {system(paste("open ",file))}
>>>>>>>> }
>>>>>>>>
>>>>>>>> Or just a small addition to the shell.exec function and no new
>>>>>>>> named
>>>>>>>> function.
>>>>>>>> Hope the idea isn't received as "too stupid".
>>>>>>> What is "open" supposed to do on a non-Windows machine? I do not
>>>>>>> have it on
>>>>>>> the only Linux installation I looked at now, hence we obviously
>>>>>>> cannot
>>>>>>> assume it exists on an arbitrary installation.
>>>>>> I think the nearest equivalent for those running Gnome or KDE may be
>>>>>> "xdg-open". So there would probably need to be a new option for
>>>>>> specifying
>>>>>> the appropriate command.
>>>>>>
>>>>>> Personally, I am more inclined to use "system" for executing
>>>>>> commands,
>>>>>> and "browseURL" for opening documents. "browseURL" even uses
>>>>>> "xdg-open" in my R installation on my Linux machine.
>>>>>>
>>>>>> - Steve
>>>>>>
>>>>>>
>>>>>>> Best,
>>>>>>> Uwe Ligges
>>>>>>>
>>>>>>>
>>>>>>>> Cheers,
>>>>>>>> Brian
>>>>>>>>
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>
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