[Rd] calling browser in Windows

Ben Bolker bolker@zoo.ufl.edu
Tue, 2 Oct 2001 14:53:57 -0400 (EDT)

  I'm working on the interface to LiveGraphics3D (Java applet for dynamic
3D graphics) that I mentioned earlier on the list, and I've hit a
cross-platform problem.
  I want to allow the option of popping up a browser or opening the file
in a browser automatically.  On Unix, the following (stolen from
help.start()) works:

system(paste(browser, " -remote \"openURL(", url, ")\" 2>/dev/null || ",
               browser, " ", url, " &", sep = ""))

If I want to do this in Windows, options("browser") is NULL.  (For now I'm
hardcoding browser to "C:/PROGRA~1/INTERN~1/IEXPLORE.EXE", but this
clearly isn't a general solution.) The syntax of the call is also
different (IE at least appears to require just the file name, "file:/"
just seems to confuse it).  I don't know how to start a browser in the
background, or do the equivalent of -remote ...  help.start() is
considerably more internalized on Windows, so I'm not getting much useful

  Here's what I'm doing now:

  mach <- machine()
  if (mach=="Unix") {
    url <- paste("file:",file.path(getwd(),fn),sep="")
    system(paste(browser, " -remote \"openURL(", url, ")\" 2>/dev/null ||
                 browser, " ", url, " &", sep = ""))
  else if (mach=="Windows") {

  Is there a different idiom I should be using for Windows?
  I suppose it's all completely different for the Mac too ...
  Might it be possible to standardize this interface?

  Ben Bolker

318 Carr Hall                                bolker@zoo.ufl.edu
Zoology Department, University of Florida    http://www.zoo.ufl.edu/bolker
Box 118525                                   (ph)  352-392-5697
Gainesville, FL 32611-8525                   (fax) 352-392-3704

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