[R] R as server in Windows

Prof Brian D Ripley ripley at stats.ox.ac.uk
Thu Sep 7 20:55:25 CEST 2000

On Thu, 7 Sep 2000, Len Thomas wrote:

> Hi All,
> I'm looking to call R as a server from another program in the Windows 
> environment (the other program is written in Visual Basic).  Ideally, I'd 
> like to be able to fire up R and then feed it commands one by one (the 
> commands will come from the user over a longish period of time, for example 
> as the user decides they want a second plot on the basis of a first one, 
> etc).  
> In the book "S Programming", Venables and Ripley say (page 234):
> "The windows version of R is builte as a DLL with several front ends, 
> including the usual GUI and terminal interfaces.  One example front-end gives 
> a direct connection to the R command line: the user supplies a function that 
> is called to feed R with commands, and another function for R to call to 
> "print" the results.  Graphics windows and pagers are launched in the usual 
> way"
> I have looked through the R documentation, and the archives of R-help and can 
> find no mention of this.  Am I missing something (quite likely!)?

Look in the sources (R-1.1.1.tgz, in the src/gnuwin32/front-ends directory)

> Alternatives are:
> 1. Run R in batch mode (ie RTerm) with the command file containing one 
> command each run, saving and loading the relevant objects between each run.  
> This seems inefficient as I'd have to run R many times to complete all the 
> commands.
> 2. Use the experimental COM interface.  Although promising this seems rather 
> unstable, and doesn't yet implement all the functionality of R.

Oh, I think is stable and sufficient enough for your purposes, and 
works well from Visual Basic.

I think this will all work: feel free to send more specfic problems
to me directly.

Brian D. Ripley,                  ripley at stats.ox.ac.uk
Professor of Applied Statistics,  http://www.stats.ox.ac.uk/~ripley/
University of Oxford,             Tel:  +44 1865 272861 (self)
1 South Parks Road,                     +44 1865 272860 (secr)
Oxford OX1 3TG, UK                Fax:  +44 1865 272595

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