Bridge to R for Linux

I’ve been working on porting over the Bridge to R from the Windows platform over to Linux. I’m happy to say that I have most of the functionality of the Bridge working now. It’s been a trying few days chasing down little issues that have cropped up between the two platforms.

One of the problems I encountered is that I use mixed case when creating filenames. I like camel case variable names for readability and I tend to extend that to filenames as well. I’m not real persistent in my naming conventions when it comes to CamelCase and of course, Linux requires that the case be exact. Chalk one up for the Windows platform in my opinion.

The other more hideous issue that I discovered is where I have a file name that is constructed under WPS on Windows such as:

“//myfolder/myprg.r “

is different from

“//myfolder/myprg.r”

On the windows platform, that blank space on the end is either ignored or compressed out by the operating system. That’s not the case under Linux.

So now the Bridge running on Linux can convert WPS data sets to R data frames, execute R jobs, read the R output into the appropriate WPS log or listing files, and convert R data frames back into WPS data sets. I still need to do some additional testing as well as create some documentation for it. I’m going to use the existing Bridge to R documentation and modify it to reflect the differences between the platforms and hence, there will be a Bridge to R for Linux document.

My current development of the Bridge has been under Fedora 32 x86. I’m assuming that Linux is Linux and this will work on other flavors of Linux. I’m also hoping that the same code base will operate on the Mac OS and Solaris as well as AIX. That may be hopeful thinking but I’ve tried to make this as vanilla as possible for portability reasons.

This release will mark the first time that the Bridge will not be available for both SAS and WPS. I don’t have access to SAS on Linux for testing and porting and am pretty sure that I’m not going to be licensing a copy of SAS for just this purpose. So, the Bridge to R for Linux will be only available on WPS.

I expect to have a commercial release of the Bridge to R for Linux by the end of the month. And just as with the Windows versions, if you purchase your Linux WPS licenses from MineQuest, we will provide the Bridge to R for Linux free.

About the author: Phil Rack is President of MineQuest, LLC. and has been a SAS language developer for more than 25 years. MineQuest provides WPS and SAS consulting and contract programming services and a reseller of WPS in North America.

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