[ESS] Prevent ESS From Writing .Rhistory

Kevin Coombes kev|n@r@coombe@ @end|ng |rom gm@||@com
Wed Aug 24 15:49:42 CEST 2016

I probably shouldn't answer my own question (especially not so quickly), 
but it seems likely that the (short) correct answer to my latest 
question is "Polymode".  (And the slightly longer answer is that I 
finally need to get around to learning to use polymode).

On 8/24/2016 9:42 AM, Kevin Coombes wrote:
> This works; thanks a lot.
> Of course, I'm still not completely satisfied.... mainly because I 
> like full documentation of what my R scripts are doing, and this 
> solution depends on the side effects of (a) some other file that may 
> or may not be present in the appropriate directory and (b) some 
> setting that may or may not be present in my .emacs file.
> Is there any way for my R script to tell emacs to set the 
> ess-history-file variable to nil  in the *R* buffer that gets started 
> to run it? Something analogous to setting file local variables (which 
> is documented within the R script) or some way to create a single file 
> that contains both elisp code and R code at te same time?
>   -- Kevin
> On 8/23/2016 8:56 PM, Ista Zahn wrote:
>> So you want to set ess-history-file to nil in some directories but not
>> others? I think you can put
>> ((nil . ((ess-history-file . nil))))
>> in a .dir-locals.el file as described in
>> https://www.gnu.org/software/emacs/manual/html_node/emacs/Directory-Variables.html 
>> and then add
>> (add-hook 'inferior-ess-mode-hook 
>> 'hack-dir-local-variables-non-file-buffer)
>> to your emacs init file. It seemed to work for me though I didn't do
>> much testing.
>> Best,
>> Ista
>> On Tue, Aug 23, 2016 at 4:38 PM, Kevin Coombes
>> <kevin.r.coombes using gmail.com> wrote:
>>> Almost. (Not sure why I couldn't find that in the documentation, so 
>>> thanks
>>> for pointing it out.)
>>> If I use (setq ess-history-file nil) in the .emacs, file, then it does
>>> indeed prevent the .Rhistory file from being written. But then, of 
>>> course,
>>> for the >99% of the time when I'm not updating clinical data files, it
>>> prevents all other .Rhistoery files from being written.
>>> So, I tried editing the script file so the first line starts with
>>> -*- inferior-R-args: "--no-save" ess-history-file: nil -*-
>>> And I confirmed that the value of the variable in the buffer 
>>> containing the
>>> script is indeed 'nil'. (Some of you can already see where this is
>>> heading....) But, starting the inferior R process with M-x R from that
>>> buffer, the variable is NOT inherited.  So, the *R* buffer still has
>>> ess-history-file set to the default value ".Rhistory" and it goes 
>>> ahead and
>>> saves it anyway.
>>> Is there anything I can put in the R script that will convince ESS 
>>> to keep
>>> the ess-history-file set to 'nil' in the other (*R*) buffer?
>>> Thanks again,
>>>    Kevin
>>> On 8/23/2016 2:45 PM, Enrico Schumann wrote:
>>>> On Tue, 23 Aug 2016, Kevin Coombes <kevin.r.coombes using gmail.com> writes:
>>>>> Hi,
>>>>> 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
>>>>>       R --no-save
>>>>> will prevent R itself from even asking about writing a workspace
>>>>> ".RData" file, and will prevent it from creating a .Rhistory
>>>>> file. However, using
>>>>>       (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
>>>>> cat("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 test things....
>>>>> Best,
>>>>>     Kevin
>>>> Hi Kevin,
>>>> does setting
>>>>     (setq-default inferior-R-args "--no-restore-history --no-save -q")
>>>>     (setq ess-history-file nil)
>>>> in your .emacs file help?
>>>> See also http://ess.r-project.org/Manual/ess.html#Saving-History .
>>>> Kind regards
>>>>        Enrico
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