[R] Genuine relative paths with R

Olivier GIVAUDAN o||v|er_g|v@ud@n @end|ng |rom hotm@||@com
Sat Oct 6 23:36:21 CEST 2018

Hi Jeff,

Thanks for sharing your workaround.

I guess my last answer to Ista answers your question as well.

To me this function (an equivalent of 'cd', say) should be platform-independent.

Best regards,


De : Jeff Newmiller <jdnewmil using dcn.davis.ca.us>
Envoy� : samedi 6 octobre 2018 19:31
� : r-help using r-project.org; Olivier GIVAUDAN; r-help using r-project.org
Objet : Re: [R] Genuine relative paths with R

I stopped using hardcoded absolute paths inside R scripts years ago, and I suspect that is fairly common practice. That is, I almost never enter a path starting with "/" or "c:/" in an R script.

The key concession you have to make is to start your R session in your working directory using OS-specific mechanisms, and then reference your code and data relative to that directory. RStudio project files offer one mechanism for doing this; using CD from the OS command line is another, and using the file-browser double-click mechanism on .RData files is another (though I prefer to avoid that these days due to potential global environment contamination).

Perhaps you can be more specific about what facilities you are expecting to find. You should also mention what OS you typically use and how you normally start R.

On October 6, 2018 4:48:44 AM PDT, Olivier GIVAUDAN <olivier_givaudan using hotmail.com> wrote:
>Dear R users,
>I would like to work with genuine relative paths in R for obvious
>reasons: if I move all my scripts related to some project as a whole to
>another location of my computer or someone else's computer, if want my
>scripts to continue to run seamlessly.
>What I mean by "genuine" is that it should not be necessary to hardcode
>one single absolute path (making the code obviously not "portable" - to
>another place - anymore).
>For the time being, I found the following related posts, unfortunately
>never conclusive or even somewhat off-topic:
>So I found 2 workarounds, more or less satisfactory:
>1.  Either create a variable "ScriptPath" in the first lines of each of
>my R scripts and run a batch (or shell, etc.) to replace every single
>occurrence of "ScriptPath <-" by "ScriptPath <- [Absolute path of the R
>script]" in all the R scripts located in the folder (and possibly
>subfolders) of the batch file.
>2.  Or create an R project file with RStudio and use the package "here"
>to get the absolute path of the R project file and put all the R
>scripts related to this project in the R project directory, as often
>But I am really wondering why R doesn't have (please tell me if I'm
>wrong) this basic feature as many other languages have it (batch,
>shell, C, LaTeX, SAS with macro-variables, etc.)?
>Do you know whether the language will have this kind of function in a
>near future? What are the obstacles / what is the reasoning for not
>having it already?
>Do you know other workarounds?
>Best regards,
>       [[alternative HTML version deleted]]
>R-help using r-project.org mailing list -- To UNSUBSCRIBE and more, see
>PLEASE do read the posting guide
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Sent from my phone. Please excuse my brevity.

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