[R] Non-interpreted strings

Prof Brian Ripley ripley at stats.ox.ac.uk
Sat Jul 29 10:41:03 CEST 2006

On Thu, 27 Jul 2006, douglas.stave at wellsfargo.com wrote:

> I am new to R, so please forgive me if there is an obvious answer to
> this question.  I have done fairly extensive searching through R docs,
> google and a few R users and have not found an answer to my question.
> Is there a way to create a non-interpreted string object in R?
> For example, I am using R in a MS Windows environment and I would like
> to paste DOS paths into some R command:
> 	setwd("c:\some\directory")
> Obviously this does not work because of the escaping mechanism.  And I
> know the obvious answer, use "\\".  But if you do a lot of pasting into
> R it could get tedious manually editing escape sequences.

Why manually edit?  You can do this many ways, including with R (reading 
from a file or from a separate line).  E.g.

> setwd(readline("new dir: "))
new dir: c:\TEMP
> getwd()
[1] "c:/TEMP"

> I did find a workable solution to this particular problem:
> 	setwd(choose.dir())<Enter><Paste><Enter>
> This saves me from having to do the editing myself.  I can conceive of
> other examples of wanting to paste other more abstract stings into R
> that may happen to have a \ in it.  And now, thanks to choose.dir(), I
> have a way to do the translation automagically but...
> My question is, is there any way in R to not interpret the string and
> store the string as is?  For instance, Perl allows you to do interpreted
> (" ") and non-interpreted strings (' ').  This does not work in R; ' '
> acts just like " " and my testing indicates that the interpretation is
> done at parse time.  Is there any language level construct for creating
> a non-interpreted string in R?


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[Please do, not send HTML code and BTW the answer is in the recent list 

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 272866 (PA)
Oxford OX1 3TG, UK                Fax:  +44 1865 272595

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