[Rd] Writing in R // R 4.2.0 on Windows doesn't work with Dasher

Paulo Barata pb @end|ng |rom |n|o||nk@com@br
Sun May 15 16:10:49 CEST 2022

To the R developers,

I noticed today that R 4.2.0 responds to the "Enter" character of Dasher 
version 5.0.0 beta in "Direct Entry" mode. An "Enter" in Dasher causes 
the R prompt to jump to the next line, as an "Enter" should do.

No other characters (letters, digits, special characters like + = & ~ | 
# $) are accepted by R 4.2.0 through Dasher.

The "Enter" shows that, somehow, the communication between Dasher and R 
4.2.0 through the Windows system is not completely curtailed.


Paulo Barata


On 13/05/2022 16:44, Paulo Barata wrote:
> To the R developers,
> I would like to point out an issue that occurs with the new R 4.2.0 
> running on Windows; this is possibly related to the recent wide changes 
> made to the Windows port of R. The issue has to do with writing of the R 
> window.
> My computer runs on Windows 10 Professional 64-bit with all the latest 
> updates, and has a 4-core 8-thread Intel Xeon processor with 32 Gb of RAM.
> I have some slight impairment in my hands, so for typing I avoid using 
> the computer keyboard as much as possible. For most of my typing, I use 
> the software Dasher, a kind of assistive technology software. Dasher was 
> created by the Inference Group led by Professor David MacKay (died in 
> 2016) at Cambridge University in England. Later, Dasher was further 
> developed by Ada Majorek (a Google engineer, recently deceased).
> General information on Dasher and about the Dasher Project can be found 
> on the Inference Group page:
> http://www.inference.org.uk/dasher/
> An example of Dasher in action can be seen on this 2-minute YouTube video:
> https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nr3s4613DX8
> An one-hour YouTube video of a 2007 Google Talk by Professor MacKay 
> himself explaining the Dasher concept can be found here:
> https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wpOxbesRNBc
> In the 2-minute video (the first YouTube address above), the sentence 
> written through Dasher, for actual use, needs to be copied and then 
> pasted into another software, say a text editor. But Dasher also has a 
> "Direct Entry" mode, where words typed are entered directly on the 
> screen of the text editor or other software -- this is how I use Dasher 
> to write on the R window.
> Using Dasher`s "Direct Entry" mode, for all effects, to write a word 
> through Dasher works exactly like writing the word through the normal 
> computer keyboard. Somehow (I do not know about system programming), in 
> "Direct Entry" mode, the output of Dasher is understood by the computer 
> as an input of the same nature as a keyboard input.
> But this is the issue: until R 4.1.3, R accepted normally the 
> word-typing through Dasher. But R 4.2.0 (and R 4.2.0-patched build 
> r82348, 12 May 2022) does not accept Dasher anymore.
> So, for now, if I wish to use R during some extended interactive section 
> (say, for a first look at a complex data set), and if I wish to use 
> Dasher for this interactive session, then I have to use R 4.1.3. For 
> using R through programming, I can use the new R 4.2.0, by writing the 
> program with Dasher in my text editor, and then pasting that program 
> into R.
> The latest Windows version of Dasher, version 5.0.0 beta, works 
> perfectly well with text editors (I use EditPad Pro), with 
> Microsoft-like Office packages (I use SoftMaker Office), for writing 
> e-mails (I use Mozilla Thunderbird), for writing on a web page (I use 
> mostly Mozilla Firefox). It worked perfectly well with R up to version 
> 4.1.3, but it does not work with R 4.2.0
> The latest Dasher 5.0.0 beta Windows installer and the source code can 
> be found on this page below (please click on "Windows installer" and on 
> "source code", just below the head "Dasher 5.0 beta release"):
> https://github.com/dasher-project/dasher/releases
> To set Dasher 5.0.0 beta to the "Direct Entry" mode, after installing 
> Dasher one should go to Preferences > Application > Application Style.
> Currently, after the passing of Ada Majorek, the Dasher Project is being 
> put forward by a group of people in England, but, it seems, at a very 
> slow pace. They have announced the existence of a version 6 beta, but 
> this is only an online instance of Dasher, there is no Windows 
> installer, as far as I know. Their web page:
> https://dasher.acecentre.net/
> For me, and possibly for other users, the Dasher version 5.0.0 beta for 
> Windows that is available works perfectly well, and allows me to use the 
> computer with a proficiency that would be hardly possible otherwise.
> Here I request that the R developers take a look at this word-typing 
> issue that happens with the new R 4.2.0 on Windows.
> As an R user (I work in ecological research), I can only thank the R 
> team for this really wonderful piece of statistical software that you 
> make freely available to us all.
> Regards,
> Paulo Barata
> (Rio de Janeiro - Brazil)
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