Re: [R] New project: littler for GNU R

From: Duncan Murdoch <murdoch_at_stats.uwo.ca>
Date: Wed 27 Sep 2006 - 11:17:03 GMT

Jeffrey Horner wrote:
> Seth Falcon wrote:
>
>> Jeffrey Horner <jeff.horner@vanderbilt.edu> writes:
>>
>
> [...]
>
>
>>> littler will install into /usr/local/bin by default, so I don't think
>>> there's a clash with the Mac binary provided by CRAN, right?
>>>
>> It depends what you mean by clash :-)
>>
>> If both are on the PATH, then you get the first one, I suspect, when
>> running either 'R' or 'r'. I haven't tested this bit yet, but on my
>> OS X laptop I can invoke a new R session using either 'R' or 'r'
>> (using an R built from source, not the R GUI app thingie).
>>
>
> Good point, but the executable path can be named absolutely in hash-bang
> scripts. Relative paths work as well with the use of '/usr/bin/env
> program' as is described in the littler announcement, but then you don't
> get to pass arguments to 'program', just to the hash-bang script.
>
>
>> So IMO, a different name or an integration into the R script in some
>> way would be a big improvement.
>>
>
> But I'd like to know why there's an R script in the first place. Why not
> just an executable as on windows?
>

There need to be (at least) two separate executables: on Windows they are R.exe which invokes Rterm.exe. The reason for this is that "R CMD foo" invokes the script foo, it doesn't run Rterm at all. On Unix-alikes the first is a script rather than an exe.

The reason the first is a script on Unix is that whoever wrote it preferred the sh script language to C for handling the things it needs to do, but that's not generally available in Windows, so we were stuck with C.

Duncan Murdoch
>
>> 'r' is cute, but going down the road of tools with the same name
>> except for caps leads to confusion (for me). For example, R CMD
>> build/INSTALL still catches me up after a number of years.
>>
>
> That's a different problem than case-sensitivity. The word 'build' must
> have had a different semantic than INSTALL, and I'm not sure why one was
> all caps and the other isn't.
>
> Jeff
>



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