[R] Command line arguments with source() - Windows OS

Duncan Murdoch murdoch at stats.uwo.ca
Mon Nov 17 15:06:00 CET 2008

Brigid Mooney wrote:
> Hi Everyone,
> I am pretty new to R and so far have mostly been using R interactively
> through the Windows console.
> I'm starting to write some scripts, and have been executing them using the
> source() command, i.e. source(myRfile.R).
> My questions is how can I pass command line arguments to R.  My file
> "myRfile.R" has some global variables which I would like to be able to set
> at run-time, without having to go in and edit the text of the file each time
> I want to run it.
> I can't seem to find much information on this topic for Windows and using it
> with the console - so any help would be greatly appreciated.

This is the same on all platforms, Windows isn't special.

When you use source(), any variables currently defined in the R session 
will be visible to your script.  There is no "command line" needed, 
because you're executing the R code in the same session.

So you could do this:

paramValue <- 10

paramValue <- 15

The quotes are necessary, because source(myRfile.R) would go looking for 
a variable named myRfile.R, rather than using "myRfile.R" as the filename.

Duncan Murdoch

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