Re: R-alpha: windows advice

Gordon K Smyth (
Tue, 01 Apr 1997 17:02:22 +1000

Message-Id: <>
Date: Tue, 01 Apr 1997 17:02:22 +1000
From: Gordon K Smyth <>
Subject: Re: R-alpha: windows advice


I am a Windows/MS-DOS user, not a Windows programmer, so I hope that someone
more knowledgable will also respond.

At 06:15 PM 4/1/97 +1200, Robert Gentleman <> wrote:
>As Ross has said I'm trying to get the Windows95 implementation ready to ship
>when 0.50 comes out (and we switch over to beta). However, not being much
>of a windows user I'm not entirely sure what the ``correct'' way to handle
>a few things is.
>First, in order for edit to be able to restore properly if there is an
>error it would be nice if I could find a place for a temporary file. The
>current user must have write access to that file. The tmp directory on Unix 
>fits the bill but is there something on Windows that does the same?

Windows 3.1/Win 95/Win NT have a temp directory.  There should be an
environmental variable named "temp" which points to it.  Many people use
c:\temp, on my machine it's c:\windows\temp.

>Start Up
>Second, under Unix we have a Rprofile in the library directory but users
>can also have their own Rprofile files in different directories. Since
>R is not launched from a command line it seems hard to arrange this
>under windows.
>If an image gets saved I was planning to link it (via a double click) to 
>the R.exe and in that instance I could look around for a Rprofile in the
>same directory.
>Any other ideas/suggestions?
>Does anyone know how Word/Excel/...  handle user preferences?

Programs such as Word and Excel maintain an .ini file in the c:\windows
directory which record user preferences.  Matlab for Windows keeps
initialization commands in a file matlabrc.m in it's home directory, as well
as an .ini file in the windows directory.  Matlab also looks in the current
working directory to see if there is a file "startup.m"; if so it is
executed after the matlabrc.m.  Every icon or shortcut in Windows is
associated with a working directory or startup directory.

>Help Files
>Has anyone had any experience with latex2rtf and then on to windows help?
>We can hope that people have netscape and then simply use the html version
>but it would be nice if there were some easy way to produce real windows

I haven't.  I've heard that it's difficult to automate the creation of
Windows native help.

Am very much looking forward to the Windows version.

All the best
Dr Gordon K Smyth           Telephone:  7-3365-3116, Fax:  7-3365-1477
Department of Mathematics, University of Queensland, Q 4072, Australia
E-mail:,   URL:

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