What is pager (was Re: [R] using the pfe editor with R 1.1.3 under windows 2000

Prof Brian Ripley ripley at stats.ox.ac.uk
Sat Sep 29 18:42:25 CEST 2001

On Sat, 29 Sep 2001 pauljohn at ukans.edu wrote:

> I've been watching this thread, trying to figure out what it is
> talking about.
> I feel like I'm missing out, so please throw me a clue.
> What are you using this for and how does it help in the usage of
> R?  In R I do find "edit" for editing objects. I find the
> command page() which ?page says invokes a "pager" but I don't
> see how a pager configured. pager() doesn't exist.  I don't find
> pager in the R-FAQ.

I think it would be in R-rarely-AQ.

Try ?options. On Unix (but that thread was Windows) it says

  editor: sets the default text editor, e.g., for `edit'.  Set from the
          environment variable `VISUAL' on UNIX.

   pager: the (stand-alone) program used for displaying ASCII files on
          R's console. Defaults to `$R_HOME/bin/pager'.

> I see from practicing that page() is like piping an object to
> more (or less :)).

If more or less is your pager (and on Unix it is now less if that is
found). There was another thread about using less basic pagers, for
example xless or the tcltk one.

> When I use R, I often run Emacs in ESS mode, and edit commands
> in one file and paste them into the R session inside Emacs.  Is
> pager related to the same kind of thing?

No.  No editing in a pager.

The pager is the program used to display read-only files, like text help,
the output of page(), the output of file.show() ....   On
less-terminal-oriented versions of R it uses a separate window.

> Is this something I would understand if I had used S+ ?

> pj
> Uwe Ligges wrote:
> >
> > If running as 'pager', only a file is shown in the editor.
> > If running as 'editor', R waits until the editor has finished, because R
> > cannot know, when you have finished the 'fix'ing of an object.

and so a multi-file editor needs to signal it has released a file. I know
how to do that with gnuclient + emacs, but not with PFE (which I have not
used for a couple of years). On Linux/Unix I use CDE's dtpad which
launches a separate window for each file, and quitting the window closes
the client instance of dtpad that R launched.

Brian D. Ripley,                  ripley at stats.ox.ac.uk
Professor of Applied Statistics,  http://www.stats.ox.ac.uk/~ripley/
University of Oxford,             Tel:  +44 1865 272861 (self)
1 South Parks Road,                     +44 1865 272860 (secr)
Oxford OX1 3TG, UK                Fax:  +44 1865 272595

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