[R] the invisible question

Rolf Turner r@turner @end|ng |rom @uck|@nd@@c@nz
Mon Nov 23 02:20:16 CET 2020

On Mon, 23 Nov 2020 10:07:42 +1100
Jim Lemon <drjimlemon using gmail.com> wrote:

> Hi all,
> I have encountered a problem in some emails with invisible characters
> in code snippets that throw an error when pasted into the terminal
> window:
> Error: unexpected input in:
> "star_wars_matrix<-matrix(box_office,nrow=3,byrow=TRUE,
> �"
> This morning, after two hours of intense frustration, I found that I
> could reproduce this by typing code containing the above line into
> Kwrite, the text editor I use. When I pasted the code from Kwrite, it
> worked in the R terminal window. When I pasted it into a gmail message
> (set to Plain Text), copied that and pasted it into the R terminal
> window, I got the error. I was helping a young friend with one of
> those introductory R courses, but I have had this happen with other
> requests on the R help list. I thought that it was the fault of the
> fancy formatting in some emails, and could grumpily blame that, but
> this is worse as I can't seem to edit it out. Anybody else had this
> problem? I have sent a message to Gmail help.

(1) Don't use Kwrite (whatever that is) --- use vi[m] like civilised
( :-) ) people do. It's even available for Windoze.  Yes, there is
a steep learning curve, but once you've climbed it you'll never look
back.  (And for what it's worth, the curve is not as steep as that for
emacs!!! :-) )

(2) The function tools::showNonASCII might be helpful to you.



Honorary Research Fellow
Department of Statistics
University of Auckland
Phone: +64-9-373-7599 ext. 88276

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