Is database or data-table mode for emacs?

Frank E. Ritter ritter at
Wed Aug 16 07:21:44 CEST 2000

I have a spreadsheet program called dismal (which is why I stopped working
on s-mode a while ago).  It works with emacs 20, and allows you to load
tab-delmited files into it.  You could then delete columns, change their
width, etc.  This might not be what you want, but it might also suit.  The
latest version is available from, although the file you
will have to pull is in Nottingham (we need to fix that).



At 1:38 PM -0700 15/8/00, Loren M. McCarter wrote:
>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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Frank  Ritter at
School of Information Sciences and Technology
The Pennsylvania State University
University Park, PA  16801-3857
ph.  (814) 865-4453   fax (814) 865-5604

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