[Rd] Re: [R] Process to both write to and read from (pipe/fork)?

From: Jan T. Kim <jtk_at_cmp.uea.ac.uk>
Date: Wed 02 Feb 2005 - 06:50:17 EST

On Tue, Feb 01, 2005 at 01:44:37PM +0000, Prof Brian Ripley wrote:
> [Moved from R-help.]
> One reason you cannot easily do this with basic R functions is that it is
> not portable. E.g. pipes on Windows 98 do not work like that, and
> system() on that OS has to work hard to do something similar.

Ok, thanks -- I really thought (and hoped) that I was just overlooking something obvious.

I'm not fully convinced that the portability issues necessarily preclude providing the fork / pipe facilities, as there already is some differentiation present now, reflected by capabilities(). In fact, when I saw that availability of fifos is reflected by capabilities(), I thought that then, more basic pipes must also be accessible somehow (and spent some effort investigating this idea).

> If we only had to consider standard Unices, pipe() would allow read-write
> modes. As it is, it is easy for you to write an OS-specific extension.

Well, that is probably reasonably easy, but (not the least due to that fact) I'm still surprised that it has not been done already. I can hardly imagine that I'm the first one to want to use some external utility from an R program in this way.

So, what do you R-devel folks do in this case, and what would you recommend?

> BTW, please re-read the distinction between R-devel and R-help in the
> posting guide: this (and most of your other recent postings) seem to me to
> fall unambiguously within the specification for R-devel.

At the time of writing, I thought I was asking for help in using R...

Best regards, Jan

 +- Jan T. Kim -------------------------------------------------------+
 |    *NEW*    email: jtk@cmp.uea.ac.uk                               |
 |    *NEW*    WWW:   http://www.cmp.uea.ac.uk/people/jtk             |
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Received on Wed Feb 02 05:19:38 2005

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