Run shiny R application from Emacs

Right now I use Windows box for development at work and I use Emacs, but I needed to run RStudio to run the shiny application that I was working on. I though it would be nice to run shiny app from Emacs. On windows I was not able to run ansi-term but eshell was working.

Here is a function that run shiny app if the buffer you’re in is directory that contain server.R:

(defun shiny ()
  "run shiny R application in new shell buffer

  if there is displayed buffer that have shell it will use that window"
  (interactive)
  (let* ((R (concat "shiny::runApp('" default-directory "')"))
         (name "*shiny*")
         (new-buffer (get-buffer-create name))
         (script-proc-buffer
          (apply 'make-comint-in-buffer "script" new-buffer "R" nil `("-e" ,R)))
         (window (get-window-with-mode '(comint-mode eshell-mode)))
       (script-proc (get-buffer-process script-proc-buffer)))
    (if window
        (set-window-buffer window new-buffer)
      (switch-to-buffer-other-window new-buffer))
    (set-process-sentinel script-proc 'special-mode-sentinel)))


(defun search-window-buffer (fn)
  "return first window for witch given function return non nil value"
  (let ((buffers (buffer-list))
        (value))
    (dolist (buffer buffers value)
      (let ((window (get-buffer-window buffer)))
        (if (and window (not value) (funcall fn buffer window))
            (setq value window)))))))

(defun get-window-with-mode (modes)
  "return window with given major modes"
  (search-window-buffer (lambda (buff window)
                        ((let ((mode (with-current-buffer buffer major-mode)))
                          (member mode modes)))))


I’ve needed to use sentinels because If I run simple eshell command it was freezing Emacs and I need to press C-g to cancel the command, it din’t kill R but it was not very good solution.

I’ve also need to update my switch to other major mode buffer, because I was using Eshell that had eshell-mode and my new shiny buffer had comint-mode, I wanted those buffers it to be treated as the same. Above I’ve defined two functions for searching windows because I was using eshell and I wanted to have R from shiny run in the same window. If you’re using ansi-term (on windows it don’t work) you can check it’s major mode and add it to the list of modes in call to get-window-with-mode.

Below is the code for switching to other buffer with same mode (it’s should be common maybe), using C-M-tab and C-tab.

(setq same-mode-alist '((eshell-mode comint-mode) (comint-mode eshell-mode)))

;; SAME BUFFER SWITCH
(defun buffer-same-mode (change-buffer-fun)
  "execute function for next buffer with the same major mode
  or mode on the list in same-mode-alist variable"
  (let ((current-mode major-mode)
        (next-mode nil))
    (while (not (or (eq next-mode current-mode)
                    (member next-mode (cdr (assoc current-mode same-mode-alist)))))
      (funcall change-buffer-fun)
      (setq next-mode major-mode))))

(defun previous-buffer-same-mode ()
  "switch to previous buffer with same mode"
  (interactive)
  (buffer-same-mode #'previous-buffer))

(defun next-buffer-same-mode ()
  "switch to next buffer with same mode"
  (interactive)
  (buffer-same-mode #'next-buffer))

(global-set-key [C-M-tab] 'previous-buffer-same-mode)
(global-set-key [C-tab] 'next-buffer-same-mode)
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