[Rd] Script editor for Windows GUI

Chris Jackson chris.jackson at imperial.ac.uk
Wed Feb 25 14:10:08 MET 2004

Dear R users / devs,

There's been requests in the past for a text editor built into the Rgui 
for Windows, from which code can be submitted to the R console.  
Something along the lines of the script editor in S-Plus.  Currently 
Rgui can only display a file read-only in a pager.  As far as I can tell 
there's been little motivation to implement an editor, as most 
developers use (the excellent) ESS, or don't use Windows.  I also use 
ESS, but the students here are taught S-Plus and learn to use the .ssc 
editor.   I think it would be a good selling point if the equivalent 
existed for R, without the need to use an external editor (or a hack in 

So I'd like to write one and contribute it.  I've had a quick mess with 
the code, and I've now got a partially usable editor working.   Before I 
go any further and implement it fully,  I just wanted to ask whether 
this is a desirable thing for R.  In case there are long-term plans to 
scrap and rewrite the whole Rgui code base...   Any gotchas, dos or 
don'ts for writing this?   I suppose we'd want something like a new R 
function file.edit to open the file for editing, analogously to 
file.show which opens a text file read-only.  Currently edit() can be 
used to invoke an editor, but that seems to be designed to work on 
objects rather than files.


Christopher Jackson <chris.jackson at imperial.ac.uk>, Research Associate,
Department of Epidemiology and Public Health, Imperial College
School of Medicine, Norfolk Place, London W2 1PG, tel. 020 759 43371

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