Re: [R] Non-interpreted strings

From: Prof Brian Ripley <>
Date: Sat 29 Jul 2006 - 18:41:03 EST

On Thu, 27 Jul 2006, wrote:

> I am new to R, so please forgive me if there is an obvious answer to
> this question. I have done fairly extensive searching through R docs,
> google and a few R users and have not found an answer to my question.
> Is there a way to create a non-interpreted string object in R?
> For example, I am using R in a MS Windows environment and I would like
> to paste DOS paths into some R command:
> setwd("c:\some\directory")
> Obviously this does not work because of the escaping mechanism. And I
> know the obvious answer, use "\\". But if you do a lot of pasting into
> R it could get tedious manually editing escape sequences.

Why manually edit? You can do this many ways, including with R (reading from a file or from a separate line). E.g.

> setwd(readline("new dir: "))

new dir: c:\TEMP
> getwd()

[1] "c:/TEMP"

> I did find a workable solution to this particular problem:
> setwd(choose.dir())<Enter><Paste><Enter>
> This saves me from having to do the editing myself. I can conceive of
> other examples of wanting to paste other more abstract stings into R
> that may happen to have a \ in it. And now, thanks to choose.dir(), I
> have a way to do the translation automagically but...
> My question is, is there any way in R to not interpret the string and
> store the string as is? For instance, Perl allows you to do interpreted
> (" ") and non-interpreted strings (' '). This does not work in R; ' '
> acts just like " " and my testing indicates that the interpretation is
> done at parse time. Is there any language level construct for creating
> a non-interpreted string in R?


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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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Received on Sat Jul 29 18:47:26 2006

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