[ESS] Emacs won't start with ESS

Gustavo Lacerda guse at optimizelife.com
Wed Sep 9 10:03:02 CEST 2009

hi all,

This issue haunted me again for most of today. Now it seems to be
resolved for good, but the story might be helpful or interesting to

My previous message (quoted below) still described the situation:
Emacs gets stuck forever and uninterruptibly on "Finding all versions
of R on your system...", except that I only seem to have 1 version of
R running.

So it came down to hacking  essd-r.el . I recognized that Emacs hangs
somewhere inside 'ess-find-newest-R', and in particular this bit here:

(setq ess-newest-R
	     (if ess-microsoft-p
	       (add-to-list 'ess-r-versions-created

Since this was a random issue, I waited until I got lucky and queried
the value of the variable 'ess-newest-R', which for me was

Then I modified the previous defvar as follows:

(defvar ess-newest-R "c:/PROGRA~1/R/R-2.9.1/bin/Rterm.exe")

Now ESS does not search for the newest R, which avoids the issue.

I hope that, this time around, I finally have a definitive solution. :-)


On Mon, Aug 24, 2009 at 7:43 PM, Gustavo Lacerda<guse at optimizelife.com> wrote:
> It worked all of yesterday and most of today, and now it stopped working
> again.
> Again, it looks like it gets stuck on the step where it's looking for R:
> << However, I see that the status bar says: "Finding all versions of R on
> your system..."    I guess this is the step that takes forever. >>
> Looking at C:\Program Files\R, I see that R-2.9.0 is there again!
> Deleting it, I can start ESS via the *scratch* buffer, and directly with the
> .emacs file.
> I've deleted this before, but it looks like some process in my machine is
> creating that directory. This could explain some of the apparent randomness.
> (1) What process could this be? (I had RTools installed until just now)
> (2) Can I make this directory be read-only? There are no files inside it,
> just the folder 'R-2.9.1' (R-2.9.1 could still be full-access)  UPDATE: it
> already is read-only!
> (3) Could we make ESS handle this ambiguity gracefully?
> In any case, for now everything works again, and it looks like I know what
> to do when it breaks.
> Thanks very much for your help!
> Gustavo
> On Sat, Aug 22, 2009 at 3:54 PM, Richard M. Heiberger <rmh at temple.edu>
> wrote:
>> sorry about that typo,  yes
>> emacs -q --no-site-file
>> is correct.
>> Next trick.  Don't shut your machine down.
>> Always use hibernate

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