Re: [Rd] options(""), and Windows installer changes

From: Duncan Murdoch <>
Date: Tue 04 Jul 2006 - 19:38:31 GMT

On 7/4/2006 12:02 PM, Simon Urbanek wrote:
> On Jul 4, 2006, at 11:15 AM, Martin Maechler wrote:

>>>>>>> "Duncan" == Duncan Murdoch <>
>>>>>>>     on Tue, 04 Jul 2006 08:32:08 -0400 writes:
>>     Duncan> I've just committed a couple of changes to R-devel  
>> related to requests
>>     Duncan> at userR about the Windows installer.  The first of  
>> these affects all
>>     Duncan> platforms, but I've only tested it on Windows:
>>     Duncan> I added an option "".  If TRUE,
>>     Duncan> then the default q("ask") prompt will not offer to
>>     Duncan> save the workspace.  This is in response to the
>>     Duncan> observation that new users who are instructed not to
>>     Duncan> save their workspace, get confused when they
>>     Duncan> accidentally answer Yes to the prompt to save it.
>> Ok...  but I probably misunderstand a bit:
>> The default has not been   q(save = "ask") but  q(save = "default"),
>> and that default has depended on startup.
>> Even now, "R --no-save"  already did have the desired effect,
>> on Unix at least.  For my ESS setup, I have made this an automatic
>> default many months ago.
>> Wouldn't it be easier and sufficient to make "--no-save" a working  
>> option on all platforms ?
>> Or is the point really about changing the quitting dialog?
>> For me quitting *without* a dialog is the most important thing  
>> which I use (often several times a day).

> I agree - it would be even nicer if there was a way to enable --no-
> save with some environment variable ...

Environment variables in Windows are a mess. Doing things on the command line or through option() is a lot easier.

> However, I think Duncan's approach is a very bad idea, because it
> means that with the same answer will give you opposite result. This
> is a big UI no-no. (Windows users may may think it's a valid option,
> because Microsoft tends to do stupid things like that, but that's
> only because they never think about UI).

I agree that that is a problem. However, I don't know a better solution:

The problem with my solution as it stands is that people who habitually answer "yes" will sometimes accidentally lose a workspace.

> The correct approach is to change the default button, but definitely
> not the dialog box.

I don't think this is sufficient.

> Speaking of default buttons - is there a specific reason why hitting
> <Enter> at the prompt is not a valid answer in the console? It would
> be nice to have let's say Enter=y, ^D=no, ^C=cancel (the last one
> works already).
> In the Mac GUI the behavior is well-defined and compatible with all
> Mac applications (Enter=Save, Esc=Cancel, Cmd+D=Don's save) - doesn't
> Windows define something system-wide like that?
> BTW: back to the original issue that Duncan raised - isn't the actual
> problem rather the fact that once you saved an image you cannot get
> rid of it? Unless you know the "internals", namely that it's a file
> named .RData, you can't discard it. There is no way to say "discard
> saved workspace". Maybe that's what should be addressed instead...

That's a good idea. Or perhaps instead of, we want, i.e. something like the --no-restore option.

Duncan Murdoch


>>     Duncan> I'm not sure about the wording of the user prompt
>>     Duncan> question, which is now "Quit and discard
>>     Duncan> workspace?".  The problem with this wording is that
>>     Duncan> someone who automatically hits "y" will lose their
>>     Duncan> work.  I've tried on Windows to make the dialog box
>>     Duncan> look different enough that they should be warned.
>> good!

> Since when do people read text in dialog boxes ;)? Especially those
> that have been there for ages ;).
> Cheers,
> Simon mailing list Received on Wed Jul 05 05:41:19 2006

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