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Non-interactive calls to ggsave() can have irritating side effects #1326

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jennybc opened this Issue Sep 8, 2015 · 6 comments

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jennybc commented Sep 8, 2015

Posting an issue sort of on behalf of @cscheid because I am so thrilled at the prospect of this getting fixed! (Please correct me if I'm mangling your problem, @cscheid.)

Calls to ggsave() that don't specify device width and height cause a graphics device to be opened and consulted for dimensions. In non-interactive settings, this can have irritating side effects, such as leaving an (empty or corrupt) Rplots.pdf file behind.

Reprex: put these commands in foo.R:

library(ggplot2)
p <- ggplot(mtcars, aes(x=cyl,y=mpg)) + geom_point()
ggsave("cars.png", p)

and run Rscript foo.R. This produces cars.png AND Rplots.pdf, at least on my Mac.

Other places people where people have vented about this: stackoverflow thread How to stop R from creating empty Rplots.pdf file when using ggsave and Rscript, ggplot2 board thread ggsave always opens a graphics window on Mac OS

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cscheid commented Sep 8, 2015

👍 This is exactly what's been happening with me as well. Notice the silly, overspecified (but necessary) width and height in rplot

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cscheid commented Sep 8, 2015

(Incidentally, thank you, @jennybc, for filing the reprex and getting this off of my todo list! :))

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jennybc commented Sep 8, 2015

I may or may not have encountered this problem before 😁

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hadley commented Sep 8, 2015

Well in the dev version this produces:

Desktop : Rscript test.R 
Error: No graphics device is open. Please supply height and width
Execution halted

but I think we can do a bit better ;)

@hadley hadley closed this in 5fdb48a Sep 8, 2015

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jennybc commented Sep 9, 2015

Here's a pretty funny GitHub search. Sure there are lots of false positives but I still think the ggplot2 world will rejoice.

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cscheid commented Sep 9, 2015

@jennybc that's a brilliant use of GitHub search, you're blowing my mind here.

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