[R] using Rterm under cygwin, no possiblity to delete characters

Roger Bivand Roger.Bivand at nhh.no
Fri Jul 30 12:04:50 CEST 2004

On Fri, 30 Jul 2004, Dewez Thomas wrote:

> Dear R-users,
> Thanks to Roger Bivand, it appears that the real problem is coming from the
> way R talks to X11 under cygwin. Both other invocations of Rterm, either in
> a bash window without Xwindow capability or from the DOS command, work just
> fine.
> Rterm breaks down every time it is invoked from a bash shell inside an
> Xwindow session. The symptoms are the following:
> + No popup window appears when invoking help() or plot() commands
> + Instead, the Windows task bar shows an R icon, but this icon cannot be
> restore to full screen
> + Rterm dies when hitting return after correcting typos
> the error message then is:
> ---
> Error: syntax error
> Execution halted
> ---
> This suggests that Rterm is by-passing fvwm2 and the X11 environment to talk
> to windows directly. This is also probably the reason why terminal
> properties are forgotten when just using Rterm for typing commands. It
> forgets that it was invoked from bash and responds to all the keys pressed.
> If typos are corrected with backspace, Rterm reads is a gibberish string
> made of printable and non printable characters causing it to misunderstand
> the command and fail.
> Any clues as to what I should do? I insist on using R in an Xwindow session
> because I want to take advantage of the R/GRASS module and compute stats on
> GIS layers.

I'm afraid that this is close to impossible. Rterm will run for the 
Generic GRASS Cygwin version (I have tried with GRASS 5.0.2), but 
not pretending to do X11 under Cygwin. Note also that Glynn Clements has 
commented on the GRASS developers list that X11 Cygwin for the GRASS 5.7 
"new generation" beta is very untried and highly risky in any case.

Can you try to run what you need using generic when you need R, and revert
to X11 when you don't need R? Then you can control the interaction between
the different parts of your software without having them all trying to run
at once.

This is really a GRASS development issue for Cygwin users, since it is 
known that R under Windows and Cygwin are not compatible, and that R for 
Windows is only for Windows (as the name suggests).


> Cheers,
> Thomas
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Roger Bivand
Economic Geography Section, Department of Economics, Norwegian School of
Economics and Business Administration, Breiviksveien 40, N-5045 Bergen,
Norway. voice: +47 55 95 93 55; fax +47 55 95 93 93
e-mail: Roger.Bivand at nhh.no

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