[Rd] Revision of shell.exec?

Brian Oney zenlines at gmail.com
Wed Sep 14 17:08:00 CEST 2011

Hi Steve,

a quick look at "browseURL" will tell you that indeed "system" or 
"shell.exec" (on a windows platform) is used to open up a URL.
The "open " part of the proposed function was written to work on a Mac. 
Because Mac is a unix platform, I assumed that the function "open" would 
be omnipresent on unix platforms, my mistake. Well I guess, we know how 
to make to work on a mac.

I will make the transition to Linux and get back to this in a while, ok?


On 9/14/2011 2:50 PM, Stephen Weston wrote:
> 2011/9/14 Uwe Ligges<ligges at statistik.tu-dortmund.de>:
>> On 14.09.2011 12:27, Brian Oney wrote:
>>> Hi List,
>>> I hope this is correct list to propose function extensions, sorry if not.
>>> I am preparing for a (hopefully painless) migration to linux. As far as
>>> I am aware of, the function "shell.exec" only comes with the windows
>>> version. I think this is a handy little function and would like to see
>>> my scripts work when I migrate.
>>> May I propose something (like the following)?
>>> open.file<- function(file) {
>>> if(.Platform$OS.type=="windows") {shell.exec(file)} else
>>> {system(paste("open ",file))}
>>> }
>>> Or just a small addition to the shell.exec function and no new named
>>> function.
>>> Hope the idea isn't received as "too stupid".
>> What is "open" supposed to do on a non-Windows machine? I do not have it on
>> the only Linux installation I looked at now, hence we obviously cannot
>> assume it exists on an arbitrary installation.
> I think the nearest equivalent for those running Gnome or KDE may be
> "xdg-open".  So there would probably need to be a new option for specifying
> the appropriate command.
> Personally, I am more inclined to use "system" for executing commands,
> and "browseURL" for opening documents.  "browseURL" even uses
> "xdg-open" in my R installation on my Linux machine.
> - Steve
>> Best,
>> Uwe Ligges
>>> Cheers,
>>> Brian
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