[R-SIG-Mac] Applescript plans

Byron Ellis byron.ellis at gmail.com
Tue Feb 12 07:28:06 CET 2008

Hmmm, I guess I really should post that code of mine. Well, no time
like the present. The code (which hasn't been touched in a while. It
actually predates the new graphics package and should be moved over to
the new API, especially in light of the improvements made by other
folks). In any case, it's the R-Multi project at
http://git.byronellis.name/ (just set it up today!).

I'll also see if I can find my osxtools package which includes a
clipboard and Spotlight R interface. It doesn't use the connections
API since, unless something has changed recently, packages can't
really implement new connections.

With respect to the Numbers (and Excel) stuff my approach was
primarily concerned with pasting "Excel" or "Numbers" into the Console
rather than scripting (although you could script those steps of
course). In both cases, using the Pasteboard Investigator or whatever
the tool is called, you find that the source makes several different
types available on the clipboard (either the primary clipboard or the
temporary drag-n-drop clipboard) at least one of which can be read by
R. Since only one object can really be on the clipboard at once the
presence of the other types suggests that one should use a particular
R-compatible type to get appropriate results. I haven't picked up a
copy of Office '08, but I imagine things will be more-or-less
unchanged with respect to Excel.

On Feb 11, 2008 8:45 AM, Rob Goedman <goedman at mac.com> wrote:
> Hi,
> On Feb 11, 2008, at 6:07 AM, Simon Urbanek wrote:
> > On Feb 10, 2008, at 2:26 PM, Erich Neuwirth wrote:
> >
> >> Are there any plans to extend the Applescript facilities in R?
> >
> > Yes, we plan a new AS interface for the GUI 2.0. Right now we are in
> > the process of collecting ideas as of what could be useful, so it's
> > the perfect time to ask :).
> In private emails between Simon and myself I suggested to include the
> capability to send 'invisible commands' to R.app, e.g. to show
> function arguments in the R console.
> A further improvement would allow access to 'GUI' functionality if
> that is not available through a simple 'cmd'.
> >> If one  could transfer R matrices  as nested lists to and from
> >> Applescript, I  could build another version of RExcel on Macs.
> >
> > What would you need exactly? It is not quite clear to me how to
> > transport matrices - do you mean in textual or binary form? I'm not
> > sure how much support we have on the AS side for such kind of a
> > thing ... Please feel free to outline any ideas you have concerning
> > the interface ...
> The return path is more complicated. AS has limitations, the length of
> a single line comes to mind, I have been thinking more about using a
> file (e.g. R-script/coda-like and/or tab/csv based) based approach.
> Byron also suggested some ideas on his blog ( http://statcomp.blogspot.com/
>   ), also in relation to Numbers.
> Nevertheless, a 'single line' return from R.app to an AS-ed
> application, as a string, might also be useful in some cases, e.g.
> package load/updates or R CMD build results.
> On Feb 11, 2008, at 12:49 AM, stefano iacus wrote:
> ...
> > No one has yet proposed himself to take over on that.
> >
> > stefano
> I committed to work on this once Simon's initial approach for the GUI
> 2.0 is in place.
> Rob
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Byron Ellis (byron.ellis at gmail.com)
"Oook" -- The Librarian

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