[ESS] Prevent ESS From Writing .Rhistory
kevin.r.coombes at gmail.com
Tue Aug 23 18:44:42 CEST 2016
My question: Is it possible to prevent ESS from saving a ".Rhistory" file?
While I know this question has appeared in ess-help before (in September
2009), I'd like to resurrect it. Briefly, the previous discussion
pointed out that running R from the command line with
will prevent R itself from even asking about writing a workspace
".RData" file, and will prevent it from creating a .Rhistory file.
(setq inferior-R-args "--no-save")
prevents the RData file but *not* the Rhistory file. The explanation had
something to do with the (comint-write-input-ring).
I'd like to request that the behavior be changed, by explaining the
use-case that got me to this point.
The application is that I am the "honest broker" who holds the keys to
update a clinical data file. That is, I have a password-protected Excel
file that contains the keys mapping between HIPPA-safe identifiers (like
Sample013) to the protected health information of either the medical
record number or patient name. Then there is a second password-protected
Excel file that contains the updated clinical information using unsafe
identifiers. I have to open both files, put the HIPAA-safe identifiers
on the updated clinical information, remove the protected information,
and write the results.
For obvious reasons, I don't want to hard-code the password into the
R-script running in ESS. So, I use the following lines to get the password
pwd <- readLines(file("stdin"), 1)
and go merrily on my way, reading the data, deleting traces that might
have existed in temporary files, and all should be good.
But it isn't. Because ESS saves the .Rhistory file at the end, AND the
.Rhistory file contains the password that I typed. So now there is a
record of the password in a file left on my machine, and I have to
manually track down that file and delete it.
Oh, and I'd like a solution that works by using a local file variable to
set inferior-R-args (or something similar) in the script so that it
automatically prevents the history file from being written.
So, is my use case strong enough to inspire someone to figure out if the
current behavior of ESS can be modified? I would be very happy to help
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