[TxMt] R daemon running 'inside' of TM + QUESTION on ram drive

Hans-Joerg Bibiko bibiko at eva.mpg.de
Thu Dec 20 11:35:04 UTC 2007


  I believe, now it works perfectly in some sense. I fixed the  
synchronisation by using the expect approach, meaning R must return  
something after doing the task, such as '> ', '+ ' or ': '. For that  
reason I had to merge stdout and stderr. Thus the error/warning  
messages appear in the document, but one can press 'undo' easily.
This means further that EACH prompt for a readline command MUST be  
end of ': '! Otherwise TM blocks (press APPLE+. for cancelling). For  
all internal R commands is that the case.

I tested it and I provoked fatal errors. Even for fatal errors R  
asked me to quit (with the option to save the current workspace or  
I ran big scripts, I ran R inside of R, etc. The daemon interacted  

I fixed dozens of tiny things, I added a package manager (for loading/ 
detaching), a real workspace browser with edit/delete function.
edit(), fix() work now BUT these commands must be executed in the  
background. Otherwise TM will freeze (APPLE+. for cancelling) because  
I set the editor to 'mate -w'!

I discarded the idea of using an HTML window as a kind of GUI because  
there're some tiny hitches. I went the TM way by overloading key  
combinations, e.g. OPT+APPLE+G lists all relevant commands for  
'Graphics' etc.

Then my next idea was to speed up that daemon.
My approach is to spawn R à la
R --encoding=UTF-8 --TMRdaemon 2&> r_out

Fine. That works brilliant. But if I create a ram drive of 80MB and  
pipe R's output to /tmp/TMRramdisk1/r_out, it's speed up the entire  
Rdaemon extraordinarily. Auto-completion, inserting of command  
templates, the output behaviour work almost instantaneously! I never  
saw that before.
But there're two tricky side-effects:
1) The ram drive is limited to 80MB. It should be enough, and it'll  
cleaned up by each starting of Rdaemon.
2) Detaching a ram drive. If one uses hdiutil detach, well, sometimes  
it works, sometimes not. It unmounts it all the time but it couldn't  
eject it, caused by the issue that the device is busy(?). I only can  
guess that QuickSilver, spotlight, anti-virus programs have a handle  
to that device.
OK. If one restarts Mac that ram drive is gone. If one logs out and  
in the ram drive will be still there.
If I start the Rdaemon the script is checking if that ram drive is  
available, if not it will create it. Thus one can work as usual, one  
'only' looses 80MB of ram.

So, my BIG question is whether we should use a ram drive. By my  
opinion, yes, because it is so fast and it makes fun. 80MB is not too  

Any comments?


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