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

From: Duncan Murdoch <>
Date: Wed 05 Jul 2006 - 10:38:39 GMT

On 7/5/2006 4:16 AM, Uwe Ligges wrote:

> Philippe Grosjean wrote:

>> Hello,
>> Related to Windows installer changes (requests), would it be possible to
>> specify whether RGui is installed to run in MDI or SDI mode at start? It
>> is as simple as adding a 'Run RGui in SDI mode' option in InnoSetup that
>> installs a <Rdir>/etc/Rconsole file containing 'MDI = no' when the
>> option is checked.
>> Explanation: MDI mode is an old-style and it is less in use now (most
>> recent multidocuments programs offer either navigation with tabs, and/or
>> SDI mode to manipulate multiple documents; even Microsoft that used the
>> MDI style in all its applications is now moving to SDI with Word, Excel,
>> ...). Regarding R, the MDI-style in RGui is problematic, or at least
>> suboptimal, with many GUIs under Windows.
>> Currently, new users that are told to switch to "SDI style in RGui" are
>> very intimidated by the procedure: (1) what is SDI versus MDI?, (2) they
>> have to open the 'RGui preference' dialog box, make the changes, save
>> the file in a particular location, (3) ignore the intimidating warning
>> that appears, (4) close RGui and restart it. All this is very, very
>> unfriendly for a very first approach to R... and I see it on the face of
>> my students!
>> With the option in InnoSetup installer, everything would be much
>> smoother to get RGui in SDI mode from start.
> Yes, that is exactly what Duncan already did!
>  From CHANGES:
> "The installer can set defaults for MDI/SDI display, help style, and
> default action on q().  Custom builds of R can change these defaults."

Yes, indeed. But note that one part of that entry is now wrong: currently the installer doesn't do anything about default action on q(), as I reverted that change (and have just fixed the CHANGES message).

Hopefully we'll work out something to do with saving/restoring workspaces before too long.

Duncan Murdoch

> Uwe Ligges

>> Thanks for considering this proposition.
>> Best,
>> Philippe Grosjean
>> ..............................................<}))><........
>> ) ) ) ) )
>> ( ( ( ( ( Prof. Philippe Grosjean
>> ) ) ) ) )
>> ( ( ( ( ( Numerical Ecology of Aquatic Systems
>> ) ) ) ) ) Mons-Hainaut University, Belgium
>> ( ( ( ( (
>> ..............................................................
>> Prof Brian Ripley wrote:
>>> On Tue, 4 Jul 2006, Duncan Murdoch wrote:
>>>> On 7/4/2006 11:57 AM, Uwe Ligges wrote:
>>>>> 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).
>>>>>> 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!
>>>>>> Duncan> I haven't made any change to the Mac GUI to support this. On
>>>>>> Duncan> Unix-alikes, the text prompt should respect this option.
>>>>>> Duncan> The other change is to the Windows installer, to
>>>>>> Duncan> allow the user to choose whether to set
>>>>>> Duncan>, MDI/SDI display, and help style
>>>>>> Duncan> at install time. The only (intentional) change to
>>>>>> Duncan> the current behaviour is to default to CHM help
>>>>>> Duncan> instead of plain text.
>>>>>> People have asked me in private about this, and I didn't know
>>>>>> the answer:
>>>>>> Is it true that this means that people can no longer commit the
>>>>>> "cheap package install trick" on Windows for R-code-only
>>>>>> packages?
>>>>>> Namely
>>>>>> 1) install a source package on a Linux/Unix/MacOSX machine
>>>>>> (where it is often simple to have all the necessary tools available)
>>>>>> 2) zip the resulting installed package
>>>>>> 3) unzip it on the target Windows machine into the corresponding
>>>>>> library (directory).
>>>>>> Of course, this trick will not provide any *.chm help files.
>>>>>> Will the cheap-installed package still work, using the *.txt (or
>>>>>> *.html) help files?

>>>>> Well, the user has to ask
>>>>> help(topic, chmhelp = FALSE)
>>>>> in this case, or (s)he get the message:
>>>>> No CHM help for 'foo' in package 'pkg' is available:
>>>>> the CHM file for the package is missing
>>>>> Perhaps it is possible to arrange some fallback to plain text help if
>>>>> chmhelp is not available: in print.help_files_with_topic call print() on
>>>>> the "help_files_with_topic" object again, but change attribute "type" to
>>>>> "help" before that call ...
>>>> Yes, that seems to work. I'll add that.
>>> Before help() was reorganized to use print() methods it used to fall back
>>> to text help if other versions were not available (at least on Windows),
>>> so it does seem sensible to reinstate that.
>>> Brian
>> ______________________________________________
>> mailing list
>> mailing list Received on Wed Jul 05 20:41:36 2006

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