Re: [R] Emacs & ESS under Windows

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From: Faheem Mitha (
Date: Mon 05 Mar 2001 - 06:52:13 EST

Message-ID: <>

On Sun, 4 Mar 2001, Graham Smith wrote:

> In-Reply-To: <>
> Emmanuel,
> Although, this will be obvious to many, what are the advantages of
> running R in Emacs.
> As a windows, just learning Linux user, I have never used Emacs so i
> would be grateful for a run down on its benifits.

Hi. The way I use it is, I open one buffer with the R code I am writing.
in another window I run R. I can load the R code into R using C-c C-l,
which is quicker and more convenient than source(" "), and I can view
everything at the same time. If you are also writing C code to load into
Ar, you can open a third buffer for this, and switch between them as

ESS does syntax highlighting for a number of different languages,
including R, and also does indentation.

You can easily save output for R in Emacs, because it is running in an
Emacs buffer. This would not be so nice in a shell, though you can use
sink(), I guess...

ESS also has nice facilities for dumping R objects to a buffer.

I am using an old version of ESS because it suits my needs, which are
anyway very modest. I am sure ESS can do lots of things that I am not
aware of, and I am sure it has had many enhancements since ESS version 5.0
which I am using. There is an ESS mailing list where people would I am
sure be happy to provide help in the uses of ESS. If ESS doesn't do what
you want, you can program emacs to do it. (See the emacs lisp introduction
by Robert Chassell, almost certainly included in your Linux distribution).

Emacs is a great thing. Give it a try.

                            Sincerely, Faheem Mitha.

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