[ESS] Clues for the User on the Specific Emacs/ESS setup

John Maindonald john.maindonald at anu.edu.au
Wed Aug 17 02:31:47 CEST 2011

In the README (http://ess.r-project.org/Manual/readme.html), it says,
under "1.6 Unix installation":
2. Then, add the line
          (require 'ess-site)
to ~/.emacs and restart Emacs.
3. If you see a buffer named *ESS*, then the simple instructions were most likely successful. If not, then read further.

For Vincent Goulet's "Emacs for OS X Modified" distribution, this does no harm, except for the hint it gives
that customisations that must go in before ess-site is loaded can go prior to this point into the ,emacs file.

Some note such as the following seems to me needed:
Note however, that, on some customised versions of Emacs (including Vincent
Goulet's emacs distribution), (require 'ess-site) may already be included in a 
site-start.el or default.el file that is loaded prior to loading .emacs.  To locate
site-start.el, type into emacs: 
  M-x locate-library RET site-start.el 

There might be a separate brief section on MacOS X installation, but I judge that this issue is wider 
than MacOS X.


Vincent, it would I think be helpful to include on your web page http://vgoulet.act.ulaval.ca/en/emacs/
a note warning that (at least for the OS X version), customisations that must be loaded prior to loading
ess-site should go into site-start.el (or default.el, if that is how you decide to do it), prior to the line that
loads ess-site, not into .emacs.

Actually (returning to the customisation issue with which this started), why not include
  (setq ess-r-versions '("R-2" "R32" "R64"))
in the site-start.el file (or in default.el, if that is what you decide to go with)?
M-x R TAB TAB then generates:
Possible completions are:
R 	R-fix-T-F 	R-mode 	R-newest
R-site-search 	R-transcript-mode 	R32 	R64
Rd-mode 	Rnw-mode

Would it make sense to flag, when ess-site is loaded, the file that has the command 
that loads it?

Thanks for to all involved for their work on ess and customised emacs.

John Maindonald             email: john.maindonald at anu.edu.au
phone : +61 2 (6125)3473    fax  : +61 2(6125)5549
Centre for Mathematics & Its Applications, Room 1194,
John Dedman Mathematical Sciences Building (Building 27)
Australian National University, Canberra ACT 0200.

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