[R-SIG-Mac] Shortcut for launching command line R?

Reijo Sund reijo.sund at helsinki.fi
Fri Jan 24 09:30:37 CET 2014

Simon Urbanek wrote:
> If you want an app, just open the Automator, pick Application type, select "Run Shell Script" with single line
> open -a Terminal /usr/bin/R

Dave Deriso wrote:
> you could check out Platypus to wrap your command into an app. Basically write a simple bash script to call
> R with the desired parameters, and Platypus will turn that into an app that you can put on your launch bar. 

Thanks for the replies.

Platypus seems to be interesting, but with quick testing the resulted app was not interactive and not usable as such.

Automator approach works quite nicely, but after exiting the terminal window stays open (stating Process completed) and with the default settings in terminal it must be closed manually. I cannot killable terminal app to accomplish closing, because there may be other terminal windows open. It is of course possible to _manually_ change the terminal preferences so that the window closes at exit, but what if I want such behavior only for the terminal window running R?

And actually I was not asking how to accomplish such task but would it be possible to have such an app distributed with R.

The motivation is simple:
There exists several R packages that utilize Tcl/Tk to create alternative user interfaces. For some courses, hundreds of students (some of them never seen R before) may be installing R and the interface packages also to their own laptops. Nowadays more and more people are using Macs, and the problems with R.app GUI and Tcl/Tk may give them a wrong impression of the performance of R and the interfaces. It is already challenging enough for the students to install R and XQuartz (fortunately since R 3.0.0 no more need to install tcltk separately) on Mac, so giving a long list of point-by-point instructions to tune things up give a geeky feeling. And a need for manually open and close Terminal window gives easily a mixed impression for a first timer: Why I cannot use the main entrance to R, but need to travel all the way to the back door?

In that sense it would be very nice if a simple R terminal icon would appear in addition to R.app GUI icon after installing R on Mac.

Best wishes,
Reijo Sund

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