[ESS] "foreign" languages in R and ESS

Martin Maechler maechler at stat.math.ethz.ch
Mon Nov 21 11:11:31 CET 2005

>>>>> "tony" == A J Rossini <blindglobe at gmail.com>
>>>>>     on Sun, 20 Nov 2005 12:28:50 +0100 writes:

    tony> Lots of issues with Emacs/ESS/R/UTF combinations.  I
    tony> think Martin had some knowledge?  I don't.

"some", yes.

The main point is that ESS now (since version 5.2.6,
i.e. March'05) should work seemlessly with UTF-8 unicode, and it
does for me.

    tony> On 11/19/05, Paul Johnson <pauljohn at ku.edu> wrote:
    >> In R-2.2 supports Unicode characters. I'm not an multilingual, but I
    >> work with a colleague who is and we want to put some foreign symbols in
    >> an R picture.
    >> In Emacs I configure with the pull down menu Options/MULE and I use "Set
    >> Language Environment" to set UTF-8 and then the input method is selected
    >> there, either the default or cyrillic-ukrainian.
    >> Here is an R program that tries to use the cyrillic in the title of a plot:
    >> x <- rnorm(100)
    >> y <- rnorm(100)
    >> plot(x,y,main="$,1(`(c(a(a(X(P(](.(B")
    >> The Cyrillic shows in Emacs and it shows in my email program
    >> (thunderbird), however, when I run it through R, the plot title is in
    >> English, reading 'b'e'c'c'Z'Z'_
    >> Before I ask in the R list, I figured I should as here in ESS because I
    >> figure there's a pretty good chance that there's some slippage between
    >> Emacs and ESS where MULE is concerned. ?
    >> I'm running Fedora Core 4 with Emacs
    >> emacs-ess-5.2.10
    >> emacs-21.4-5

the above should definitely be fine enough {even though ESS is
now at 5.2.11}.

    >> My system LANG variable is
    >> $ env | grep LANG
    >> LANG=en_US.UTF-8

Actually, R mainly reacts on 'LANGUAGE', not 'LANG'
and I assume your problem to be an R rather than an ESS problem.
If R thinks you're in an english locale but you want Ukrainian,
that won't work.

I assume you have a *.R script file with the above plot()
statement(s), say 'ex.R'.  
What happens if you run that file via 'source()' or   'R CMD BATCH ex.R'
--> yes, it is more an R than an ESS question.

Once you know to solve the R part,
for you, it might help to define an R shell skript,
say 'R-ukr' containing

export LANGUAGE LC_ALL LC.......
R $@

where you must replace <...> with the correct string for
Ukrainain, make the script executable ("chmod +x R-ukr") and be sure
that it is in your PATH {conventional would be to have it in $HOME/bin/
and add $HOME/bin to your PATH}.

Now with a recent version of ESS (5.2.10 is sufficient),
    M-x R-ukr
would automatically work.


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