Re: [R] Can't there be a cd command?

From: Paul Johnson <>
Date: Wed 10 May 2006 - 23:29:15 EST

It is a FAQ in our Linux lab. People start emacs and fire up R via ess, and then they have no idea 'where they are". For computer experts, it is not a problem, but for people who don't know much about computers, it is a pretty big problem. They have data in some subdirectory, but almost invariably they don't get emacs & R started from that same place.

Unfortunately, for our users, it does not help to simply re-label setwd as cd. Both commands imply a deeper understanding of the OS than they have. Also, unfortunately, these are the same people who don't understand that FAQs exist and should be consulted. These people are so new/timid that asking in r-help would be the last thing to cross their mind.

I've wondered if it would not help to have the R prompt include the directory name, as in an x terminal.


On 5/10/06, Prof Brian Ripley <> wrote:

> Exactly. I don't think I have ever used setwd() on Linux.
> Also, I have never seen this asked before for a Unix-alike, so it seems
> not to be a >F<AQ. There is a common tendency for users who run into a
> problem to think everyone does too, and it isn't necessarily so.
> Frequently asked questions do make it to the FAQs: it is a defence
> mechanism for the volunteers supporting R.
>"directory") gets you there.
> --
> Brian D. Ripley,
> Professor of Applied Statistics,
> University of Oxford, Tel: +44 1865 272861 (self)
> 1 South Parks Road, +44 1865 272866 (PA)
> Oxford OX1 3TG, UK Fax: +44 1865 272595
> ______________________________________________
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> PLEASE do read the posting guide!

Paul E. Johnson
Professor, Political Science
1541 Lilac Lane, Room 504
University of Kansas

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Received on Wed May 10 23:33:37 2006

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