[Rd] Connections to https: URLs -- IE expert help needed
Duncan Temple Lang
duncan at wald.ucdavis.edu
Tue Jan 2 02:15:02 CET 2007
Kurt Hornik wrote:
> >>>>> Duncan Temple Lang writes:
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> > Prof Brian Ripley wrote:
> >> I've added to R-devel the ability to use download.file() and url() to
> >> https: URLs, *only* if --internet2 is used on Windows.
> >> This uses the Internet Explorer internals, and only works if the
> >> certificate is accepted (so e.g. does not work for
> >> https://svn.r-project.org).
> >> Now I use IE (and Windows for that matter) only when really necessary, and
> >> Firefox has simple ways to permanently accept non-verifiable certificates.
> >> I would be grateful if someone who is much more familiar with IE could
> >> write a note explaining how to deal with this that we could add to the
> >> rw-FAQ.
> >> To forestall the inevitable question: there are no plans to add https:
> >> support on any other platform, but it is something that would make a nice
> >> project for a user contribution. The current internal code is based on
> >> likxml2, and that AFAICS still does not have https: support.
> > Generally (i.e. not in particular response to Brian but related to
> > this thread)
> With a similar disclaimer: Brian's efforts were triggered by me asking
> how to use url() to read R's mailing list archive files, such as
> directly into R. Turns out we cannot ... which, in a way, is a shame
> ("R cannot read its own web pages") :-(
Indeed, it is a shame. Although, when I process mail messages,
I use Perl's very rich collection of modules for processing
mail in so many different formats. And then I use RSPerl
to control this and get the data into R pretty quickly.
So we can do it in R and probably the delegation to
mail-processing software is a good given the number of special
And even if we had HTTPs in R, we would still want to deal with
the certificate on that page, which gets us to more details.
Which is the reason I think leaving things to libcurl,
libwww, etc. will be best as they continue to evolve
to handle new protocols and settings.
> > An alternative is to use RCurl and leave HTTPS and a host of other
> > protocols and details to an external library (e.g. libcurl, libwww,
> > etc.) and an R package that interfaces to it.
> > If we want the facilities to be accessible via the connections
> > interface, then we can make that API extensible by packages. Jeff
> > Horner has a proposal on that.
> > Generally, it is important if R is to continue to evolve that the R
> > internals become extensible by package developers so that we can do
> > some new experiments and provide alternative implementations of the
> > basic structures rather than being tied to the existing
> > representation. An object oriented framework underlying the R source
> > code would enable this and would solve numerous problems that have
> > arisen recently and I strongly suspect many more that will arise.
> > D.
> > - --
> > Duncan Temple Lang duncan at wald.ucdavis.edu
> > Department of Statistics work: (530) 752-4782
> > 4210 Mathematical Sciences Building fax: (530) 752-7099
> > One Shields Ave.
> > University of California at Davis
> > Davis,
> > CA 95616,
> > USA
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> > ______________________________________________
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> R-devel at r-project.org mailing list
Duncan Temple Lang duncan at wald.ucdavis.edu
Department of Statistics work: (530) 752-4782
4210 Mathematical Sciences Bldg. fax: (530) 752-7099
One Shields Ave.
University of California at Davis
Davis, CA 95616, USA
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