Is database or data-table mode for emacs?

Loren M. McCarter lorenmc at
Tue Aug 15 22:38:05 CEST 2000

I have a question about a problem that the ess might have
experienced. After manipulating a table in SAS or R, I like to "view"
the table. In R, my tables are usually not that wide and I can view
them in the buffer. In SAS, however, my tables are often quite wide
and I'd like to view them in wide table mode.  Is there is a "database
mode" or "data table mode" for emacs?

In the past to view wide files, I've used "picture-mode" in read only
or "array-mode" but I can envision a better solution for this
problem. For example, it would be nice to have a "data table mode"
that would allow me to view a wide table (e.g., flat-file in
text-delimited view) and work with columns of data. In addition, it
would be nice to have a "database mode" where there was an ODBC
connection to a relational database and I could navigate the different
tables, fields and relations. Before I foolishly attempt to begin
building such a mode, I wonder if anyone is aware of its
existence. I'm only aware of:

forms-mode: working with data in forms 
edb-mode: replacement for forms mode
picture-mode: view wide flat files
bbdb-mode: big brother database mode
bibtex-mode: working with BibTeX databases

I haven't bbdb or edb, but all of these seem to be designed for the
purpose of working with personal databases that are located on the
local file system. I'm thinking more about a "viewer" where the
strength is reading local or remote information about an underlying
database structure and presenting it in an emacs buffer with links to
other tables and such. It would need to be similar to ESS in its
ability to work with multiple platforms/formats of data (e.g., SAS
tables, R data frames and even Sybase/MySQL relational databases).

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