[ESS] gretl support? launch R session at same time as Emacs starts?

Paul Johnson pauljohn32 at gmail.com
Fri Apr 20 08:14:32 CEST 2007

I just learned about a stats program called gretl.
http://gretl.sourceforge.net/.  It is a statistical program (in the
econometric style) with a gtk2 GUI which (in a nice way) uses gnuplot
for graphs.  I built RPM files for gretl that work on my Fedora Core 6
system and I'm uploading those to
http://pj.freefaculty.org/software/Fedora in case any of you are
interested in trying gretl out.  It really is fun!

It has many appealing features, one of which is that it can launch R
in an xterm and then send a dataset from gretl to R that is running in
an xterm.  After some experimentation, here's how I think it works.
It takes the current dataframe from gretl and dumps it in a
user-specified place, and as you can see here, the R session then
imports & attaches the data.

> gretldata <- read.table("/home/pauljohn/gretl/Rdata.tmp",
    header = TRUE)

> attach(gretldata)

The instructions say that the default command "xterm -e R" can be
replaced by any other 3 symbols.  I don't know how gretl sends the
commands into the open R session-- is it one of those "pipeline"

What are the chances we can make the same thing work with emacs-ess?

Paul E. Johnson
Professor, Political Science
1541 Lilac Lane, Room 504
University of Kansas

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