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

Duncan Murdoch murdoch@dunc@n @end|ng |rom gm@||@com
Mon May 16 20:02:08 CEST 2022

On 16/05/2022 1:51 p.m., Ben Bolker wrote:
>     You'll probably have to wait a day or so for a new build.  The
> Windows binaries are only built once a day or so.

They appear first at


and are mirrored to other sites later.

Duncan Murdoch

> https://cran.r-project.org/bin/windows/base/rdevel.html was built on
> 2022-05-15.
>     Tomas's fix was only committed an hour ago:
> https://github.com/wch/r-source/commit/9b6de510e6346da7ccb582d14a7699500751efc4
>     If you're really eager you can install Subversion and build from
> source <https://developer.r-project.org/SVNtips.html> (or clone the
> Github mirror etc.).
>     cheers
>      Ben Bolker
> On 2022-05-16 1:45 p.m., Paulo Barata wrote:
>> Dear Tomas,
>> Thank you very much for dealing with this issue.
>> You said: "I've committed a fix to R-devel, 82368". It happens that, at
>> this very moment (Monday 16 May 18:44 UTC), The R-devel that exists on
>> both the Austria and the 0-Cloud CRAN pages is this, with a different
>> (smaller) number:
>> This is a Windows 64 bit binary build of the 2022-05-15 r82362
>> development snapshot of R
>> Anyway, I installed and tried this R-devel r82362, and Dasher does not
>> work with it.
>> I am not able to find R-Devel 82368 on the CRAN site. Maybe I should
>> wait a little more. Or maybe you could send me a proper link to that.
>> Best regards,
>> Paulo Barata
>> ----------------------------------------------------------
>> On 16/05/2022 14:08, Tomas Kalibera wrote:
>>> On 5/15/22 16:10, Paulo Barata wrote:
>>>> 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.
>>> Dear Paulo,
>>> thanks for the report and thanks to all for the useful comments in the
>>> followup discussion. I've committed a fix to R-devel, 82368, and I
>>> would be grateful if you could test whether it fixes the problem for
>>> you. I've tested it only on a small example which is using the same
>>> method to insert keys to Rgui as Dasher does.
>>> The problem is caused by a limitation in GraphApp, a library used by
>>> Rgui and included in the R distribution. GraphApp has two modes:
>>> Unicode windows (with this limitation) and non-Unicode windows
>>> (without it). GraphApp uses Unicode windows when running in a
>>> multi-byte locale, and as of R 4.2, this is the case for all systems
>>> on recent Windows where the native encoding is UTF-8. This means that
>>> most likely R 4.1.3 didn't work with Dasher on systems running in a
>>> multi-byte locale and that most likely R 4.2.0 would work with Dasher
>>> on old Windows systems (where UTF-8 cannot be used as native encoding).
>>> Dasher uses SendInput/KEYEVENTF_UNICODE to inject text into Rgui,
>>> which is fine as far as I can tell and should work. It didn't work,
>>> because the Unicode windows didn't handle WM_CHAR nor
>>> WM_KEYDOWN/WM_KEYUP for VK_PACKET. By design, Unicode windows get
>>> input via WM_IME_COMPOSITION and WM_KEYDOWN, so I've added support for
>>> VK_PACKET to WM_KEYDOWN (taking the logic in gdk as an example).
>>> I am cc'ing Jose as Tinn-R has a similar problem, though this patch
>>> doesn't solve it.
>>> Best
>>> Tomas
>>>> Regards,
>>>> 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)
>>>>> ______________________________________________
>>>>> R-devel using r-project.org mailing list
>>>>> https://stat.ethz.ch/mailman/listinfo/r-devel
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