[Rd] Suggestion/opinions: add a `absolute` param to `normalizePath()` to force returning an absolute path

Gabriel Becker g@bembecker @end|ng |rom gm@||@com
Tue Apr 14 21:51:30 CEST 2020

If we are fiddling with normalizePath, having a way of not following
symlinks (otheer than  ~)  would be useful as well.

I had to write normalizePath2 in switchr for a specific on-the-ground need
to NOT go down all he way to physical paths on a remote compute system
because of how IT handled implementing constant pathing on top of swapping
out hardware, and I can't imagine i'm the only one who has ever faced such
an issue.


On Tue, Apr 14, 2020 at 10:03 AM Dean Attali <daattali using gmail.com> wrote:

> This request stems off a bug report I posted
> https://bugs.r-project.org/bugzilla/show_bug.cgi?id=17757 where it was
> determined the current behaviour is as expected.
> To recap: when given a real file, normalizePath() always* returns the full
> absolute path. When given a non-existent file, normalizePath() returns a
> full path on Windows but it returns the input on other systems*. I'd argue
> that there are benefits to being able to reliably and consistently get a
> full path, regardless of whether the file exists or not. In order to not
> break existing behaviour, I propose adding an argument `absolute = FALSE`
> that will attempt to return an absolute path when the argument is set to
> TRUE. I don't have any evidence for this claim, but I believe that others
> who use this function would expect, like I did, that an absolute path is
> returned regardless of the file state. I understand the documentation is
> correct because it warns the absolute path may not be returned, but I
> believe it would be a useful feature to support.
> * I've tested this on Win7, Win10, two versions of MacOS, ubuntu. This
> behaviour may not be true in other OSes
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