Re: [Rd] Connections to https: URLs -- IE expert help needed

From: Kurt Hornik <>
Date: Mon 01 Jan 2007 - 21:58:40 GMT

>>>>> Duncan Temple Lang writes:

> Hash: SHA1

> Prof Brian Ripley wrote:

>> I've added to R-devel the ability to use download.file() and url() to 
>> https: URLs, *only* if --internet2 is used on Windows.
>> This uses the Internet Explorer internals, and only works if the 
>> certificate is accepted (so e.g. does not work for 
>> Now I use IE (and Windows for that matter) only when really necessary, and 
>> Firefox has simple ways to permanently accept non-verifiable certificates. 
>> I would be grateful if someone who is much more familiar with IE could 
>> write a note explaining how to deal with this that we could add to the 
>> rw-FAQ.
>> To forestall the inevitable question: there are no plans to add https: 
>> support on any other platform, but it is something that would make a nice 
>> project for a user contribution.  The current internal code is based on 
>> likxml2, and that AFAICS still does not have https: support.

> Generally (i.e. not in particular response to Brian but related to
> this thread)

With a similar disclaimer: Brian's efforts were triggered by me asking how to use url() to read R's mailing list archive files, such as

directly into R. Turns out we cannot ... which, in a way, is a shame ("R cannot read its own web pages") :-(


> An alternative is to use RCurl and leave HTTPS and a host of other
> protocols and details to an external library (e.g. libcurl, libwww,
> etc.) and an R package that interfaces to it.

> If we want the facilities to be accessible via the connections
> interface, then we can make that API extensible by packages. Jeff
> Horner has a proposal on that.

> Generally, it is important if R is to continue to evolve that the R
> internals become extensible by package developers so that we can do
> some new experiments and provide alternative implementations of the
> basic structures rather than being tied to the existing
> representation. An object oriented framework underlying the R source
> code would enable this and would solve numerous problems that have
> arisen recently and I strongly suspect many more that will arise.

> D.

> - --
> Duncan Temple Lang
> Department of Statistics work: (530) 752-4782
> 4210 Mathematical Sciences Building fax: (530) 752-7099
> One Shields Ave.
> University of California at Davis
> Davis,
> CA 95616,
> Version: GnuPG v1.4.3 (Darwin)

> iD8DBQFFibTh9p/Jzwa2QP4RAgBiAJ9YojjDf0DMIo9FQ7yW1MiMdANvogCfRgCX
> zci7UsavJESdidbyiCl2Xgw=
> =HiuE

> ______________________________________________
> mailing list
> mailing list Received on Tue Jan 02 09:01:37 2007

Archive maintained by Robert King, hosted by the discipline of statistics at the University of Newcastle, Australia.
Archive generated by hypermail 2.1.8, at Tue 02 Jan 2007 - 05:31:06 GMT.

Mailing list information is available at Please read the posting guide before posting to the list.