[ESS] proposal re: underscore

Vitalie Spinu spinuvit at gmail.com
Wed Apr 4 22:28:28 CEST 2012


I tend to agree with Jack, it's inconsistent across the modes. And
unless you are using ESS only for R, it's a problem. This is why I am
not using it myself. In any case I think smart-underscore should be
smart-assignment instead, with an ability to be assigned it to any
key. Once assigner to a key "x", pressing "x" twice should do whatever
action was hijacked. I would probably like to assign it to "<". Jack's
C-= idea is not bad ad all as that key is free, easy to type, and has
intuitive meaning.

What others think? May be we should put it to a vote.


>>>> Rainer M Krug <r.m.krug at gmail.com>
>>>> on Wed, 4 Apr 2012 20:12:00 +0200 wrote:

  > Hi

  > On 04/04/12 19:52, Jack Tanner wrote:
  >> Premise: the smart-underscore behavior in ESS is problematic because

  > I would not agree here.

  >> 1) it's inconsistent across modes, as described in my post a couple of weeks ago and repeated
  >> below for convenience

  > OK - I can not comment to bugs-mode as I have never used bugs, but it is consistent in R modes.

  >> 2) it's confusing to novices, as evidenced by the fact that it's a FAQ

  > Well - there are many "problematic" things to remember for a novice - underscore as a very
  > convenient one is probably a minor issue.

  >> 3) it will be even more confusing to novices over time, because underscore as assignment
  >> operator was phased out in R a long time ago

  > Sorry - I never heard about "underscore as assignment operator" in R. It must have been a long
  > time ago.

  >> 4) it requires two keystrokes of underscore to get an actual underscore

  > True - but only one to get "<-" ...

  >> Proposal: ESS should emulate another R editor on this point, namely StatET. The

  > Well - ESS runs in emacs, and emacs has different shortcuts then the other editors - but I see you
  > point here.

  >> behavior is as follows:
  >> 1) typing = gets you =
  >> 2) typing _ gets you _
  >> 3) typing <- gets you <-
  >> 4) (this is the magic one) typing Ctrl+= gets you <-
  >> The main argument 'pro' is that 1-3 are not at all confusing to novices, and 4 is a
  >> discoverable feature, i.e., a reward for advanced users. Additionally, this would be consistent
  >> across S, R, BUGS, and JAGS, and would not violate their syntax, unlike the current behavior
  >> (explained in my older note, below).
  >> The current smart-underscore could be retained as-is for those who want it but turned off by
  >> default in future versions.

  > As long as the default behaviour stays as it is, it would be OK.

  > I actually see the "_ as <-" as a huge plus of ESS.

  > Cheers,

  > Rainer

  >> -- my older email, repeated for reference --
  >> 1. In ESS[BUGS] mode, underscore is bound to ess-bugs-hot-arrow, which is definitely wrong,
  >> because it doesn't let me create variables like foo_bar.
  >> 2. I'd like it if I could use smart-underscore as in ESS[S] mode, but if I do
  >> (define-key ess-bugs-mode-map (kbd "_") 'ess-smart-underscore)
  >> then there's no smart-underscore behavior, just a plain underscore.
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