[Rd] Revision of shell.exec?

Stephen Weston stephen.b.weston at gmail.com
Wed Sep 14 14:50:18 CEST 2011

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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