[Rd] C-API: check whether R has been initialized ?

Laurent Gautier lgautier at gmail.com
Mon May 4 02:07:30 CEST 2015

rPython appears to provide an interface from R to Python by embedding
Python and I'd think that it can safely assume that R has been initialized,
but might not be the point here.

The issue is that a Python package embedding itself R (here rpy2) appears
to have no way to know that earlier in the life of the process R was

2015-05-03 19:48 GMT-04:00 Duncan Murdoch <murdoch.duncan at gmail.com>:

> On 03/05/2015 7:02 PM, Laurent Gautier wrote:
> > Beside the possible argumentation that with an API elegance and
> > convenience might sometimes be superior to necessity, the suggested
> > pattern ("every program, including R itself, keeping its own flag") does
> > no work too well when the nested embedding of R is involved.
> >
> > A concrete example is:
> > ```
> > $ R -q
> >> library('rPython'); python.exec('import rpy2.robjects')
> > R is already initialized
> > ```
> I don't know rPython at all, but surely this is an rPython bug.  When
> the package is loaded by "library('rPython')", R is obviously
> initialized.  You don't need to query it to ask that.
> The standard R front-ends don't need a flag to know if it is
> initialized.  They initialize, then go into the read-eval-print loop.
> If they are in that loop, R is initialized.  If it failed to initialize,
> they would never get to that loop.
> Other front-ends may do other things besides run R, so they do need to
> know if it is initialized, but surely they can keep a flag telling them
> whether they've succeeded in initializing it.
> Duncan Murdoch

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