[ESS] (ess-ask-about-transfile t) problem

Martin Maechler maechler at stat.math.ethz.ch
Fri Dec 4 08:42:27 CET 2009

>>>>> "SE" == Stephen Eglen <S.J.Eglen at damtp.cam.ac.uk>
>>>>>     on Thu, 03 Dec 2009 20:09:03 +0000 writes:

    SE> Kjetil Halvorsen <kjetil1001 at gmail.com> wrote:
    >> I experimented putting
    >> (setq   ess-ask-about-transfile t)
    >> in my .emacs   file. Then, when starting a new R process in emacs and
    >> giving a transcript file name, R starts in a READONLY buffer, so I can give
    >> no commands!
    >> That can't be the intention???

yes, it has been the intention [and yes, sometimes this
is inconvenient]:

The idea has probably always been that an R output file
is something "precious" that you don't want to accidentally change:
most of those I use are 'foo.Rout' , the result of 
R CMD BATCH foo.R  and I'd typically use BATCH for expensive
long simulations.

When this feature had been introduced (in 'S-mode'),
for S transcripts, more than 20 years ago (~ ten years before R was "born")
emacs users were more sophisticated in using and knowing key
strokes {Emacs 18.x and 19.x had no menus IIRC}, and the
developers back then will have assumed --- most 
probably correctly --- that all users would know   C-x C-q.

So far the historical background.

I'm not against giving up this feature of protecting precious
output from accidental user modification, but neither will I
implement the change and modify the documentation in the correct
(but others are very welcome to !)


    SE> I can confirm this behaviour, and a quick glance at the code didn't
    SE> reveal any obvious reason why this would be the case.  But as I don't
    SE> use transcripts, I'm not sure if there is a good reason for this. 

    SE> For now, the workaround is that once R has started, you can do

    SE> C-x C-q 

    SE> to toggle the read-only status and then use R.

    SE> Stephen

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