[R] unix-type commandline keystrokes in the windows RGUI

mfrumin michael at frumin.net
Wed Sep 17 18:49:36 CEST 2008

Adaikalavan, thanks.

Perhaps I was not so specific enough in what I want, for those not so
familiar with unix commandline featuers.  I'm looking for the 'reverse
search' functionality where you hit CTRL-R, then start typing a bit of text
and it finds previous commands with that bit of text, which you just hit
enter to execute.

I already do write tons of code/scripts in R (using Emacs in fact!).  But
one of the great features of R/SPSS/Matlab/etc is that they are interactive
environments.  Thus, I spend lots of time issuing commands as well as
writing code.  I want to be able to search back through those commands as
rapidly and efficiently as you can in the unix (and R unix) commandline.

Another way to think about this is -- the unix commandline environment is a
scripting environment where you can use emacs.  Yet users of unix love the
CTRL-R functionality anyway (they wrote it!).

So, any suggestions to help do what I specifically asked, or should I go
bother the R developers?


Adaikalavan Ramasamy-2 wrote:
> Why not use a script?
> I feel that it is much better than using the history via [CTRL]-R in 
> unix, which also pulls up errorneous commands.
> A script is vital for statistical analysis and research where you may 
> want to or be asked to repeat or reproduce the analysis months later.
> Rgui (on windows) has a built in script editor. There are many external 
> editors capable of working with R. My recommendation is to use emacs via 
> ESS (emacs speaks statistics) which works in most, if not all, operating 
> systems and has a Unix feel to it.
> If you insist on wanting to use [CTRL]-R like features, then have a look 
> at history() within R. You can also try installing cgywin or bash etc 
> and see if that works from the DOS prompt.
> Regards, Adai
> mfrumin wrote:
>> Hi all,
>> I am generally quite fond of the unix commandline keystrokes (e.g.
>> searching
>> back in your history with [CTRL]-R, and cutting/pasting with [CTRL]-K/Y)
>> which work in the R commandline in *nix.  Does anyone know if there's any
>> way to get similar functionality in the Windows RGUI?
>> I know that as of now, [CTRL]-A and -E do the same as unix (beginning and
>> end of line) and [CTRL]-Y does a paste, but [CTRL]-K crops from the
>> cursor
>> to the end of the line but doesn't put the text into the clipboard.  the
>> most important thing I want is the [CTRL]-R functionality which is so
>> poorly
>> approximated by pressing the up arrow a million times.
>> I've searched on the archives and didn't find anything about this.   Any
>> thoughts?
>> Thanks,
>> Mike
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