[R] Fwd: Re: Setting .Rprofile for RStudio on a Windows 7 x64bit / Windows file extension hiding

John C Frain frainj at gmail.com
Tue Apr 18 23:44:26 CEST 2017

At the risk of adding again to the noise on this point I would recommend
that all users of MS Windows enable the display of file name extensions.
This can be done in Windows 10 by opening Windows explorer under the view
item on the ribbon tick file name extensions. At least this will then
display any extensions added by programs when saving files. If a program
does add an extension then you can at least rename the file. Doing this
helps avoid these problems.

The same think can be done in earlier versions of windows explorer which do
not have the ribbon. I think that it is under the View menu item remove the
tick from the box "hide extensions for known file types". Save the revised
options. I don't have exact details as all the PCs that I can access at the
moment have windows 10.

You should note that this problem has consequences for most programs (e.g.
Matlab, Mathematica, Stata, Rats and many others). It is not specific to R.
It appears to work well with MS Office and similar programs in that it is
set up so that their users do not need any knowledge of file name

 Under windows 10 if you use notepad when you select "Save As" There is a
save as type option below the file name. The default is Save as text
(*.txt) - in which case the file is saved as filename .txt.  If you select
save as type - all files (*.*) the file is save as filename with out
extension if that is what you want. Even if you edit the file filename and
choose the wrong type the .txt extension may be added.  There is a similar
provision with many other programs. I don't use notepad myself but would
prefer to use notepad++ to edit text files

In Windows 10 any editors that I have used (including notepad, emacs,
rstudio, octave gui and others) can save files starting with a period. The
original MS DOS had 8.3 filenames and a filename starting with a period (.)
was not allowed. This practice continued to some extent in various version
of windows and it was often difficult to use filenames starting with a
period. As different versions of windows and different programs imposed
different restrictions.  I have  encountered such problems over the years.
Possible solutions included using emacs, notepad++ or the windows console
to solve the problem. For various versions of windows google search will
offer a solution.

Again the problem is not with R or Matlab or Octave or Mathematica  or
Stata or Rats or .... but with Windows which pretends to be a very
user-friendly operating system  by hiding many aspects of what it is doing.
When one needs to do serious work one need to understand some of these
hidden aspects. In Linux many of these aspects are on the surface and it
may appear that one need more knowledge to work with Linux.

John C Frain
3 Aranleigh Park
Dublin 14
mailto:frainj at tcd.ie
mailto:frainj at gmail.com

On 18 April 2017 at 14:12, Duncan Murdoch <murdoch.duncan at gmail.com> wrote:

> On 17/04/2017 6:41 PM, John Nash wrote:
>> The very large amount of noise on this topic seems to be the result of
>> allowing
>> Windows to hide file extensions. We have had to put up with millions of
>> malware
>> infections because someone in M$ thought this would be a nice idea. I've
>> seen it
>> cause lots of problems over the years, including among my own family.
>> Perhaps someone can create a check and repair that automatically turns
>> this "feature" off
>> whenever R is run. One reason among the many why I run Linux.
> MacOS does this now too, though it feels less aggressive than Windows.
> This page tells how to disable it there: https://support.apple.com/kb/p
> h19072?locale=en_US
> There's little point providing a link to a Microsoft page for doing this
> on Windows, because their help page links are not very durable.  The main
> one that Google finds describes itself as obsolete.
> Duncan Murdoch
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