[Rd] Unexpected behavior with cat

Russell Pierce rpier001 at ucr.edu
Mon Nov 8 02:57:12 CET 2010

I am experiencing unexpected behavior with the command cat under
Window GUI builds of R version 2.12.0 (it does not seem to be an issue
in Rterm).  For example if I issue the command cat(70,"\r") I get back
text that looks like Asian characters.  If I highlight and copy that
text, it is the text I would regularly expect, e.g. the number 70 and
the prompt line.  Highlighting the text changes what is shown on the
screen, but the screen never displays the number 70.  This error is
not idiosyncratic to 70 but happens with a fairly wide range of
numbers.  Notably no error like this occurs when I use \n.  I use \r
for large simulation runs when I don't want my progress to spam the

for (i in 1:1000) {cat(i,"\r");flush.console();Sys.sleep(.100)}

sessionInfo() where I first saw the problem:
R version 2.12.0 (2010-10-15) on Windows Vista
Platform: i386-pc-mingw32/i386 (32-bit)

[1] LC_COLLATE=English_United States.1252
[2] LC_CTYPE=English_United States.1252
[3] LC_MONETARY=English_United States.1252
[5] LC_TIME=English_United States.1252

attached base packages:
[1] stats     graphics  grDevices utils     datasets  methods   base

Also experienced here:
R version 2.12.0 (2010-10-15) on Windows XP
R version 2.12.0 Patched (2010-11-04 r53530) on Windows Vista
R version 2.13.0 Under development (unstable) (2010-11-04 r53530) on
Windows Vista

But not here:
Not under R version 2.10.1 (2009-12-14) on Windows XP

If this is expected behavior would you please kindly explain it to me?
 I am not a member of this list, so please address replies both to my
email address and (if appropriate) the list.


Russell Pierce

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