[ESS] ESS 12.04 released
maechler at stat.math.ethz.ch
Fri Apr 6 01:12:29 CEST 2012
We have released ESS 12.04 -- as a patch release for 12.03 --
a few minutes ago. Notably we've reverted a 12.03 "feature" (TAB no longer
auto-completes in R scripts by default).
In the name of the ESS core team,
Martin Maechler, ETH Zurich
1 ANNOUNCING ESS
The ESS Developers proudly announce the release of ESS
Emacs Speaks Statistics (ESS) provides an intelligent, consistent
interface between the user and the software. ESS interfaces with
R/S-PLUS, SAS, BUGS/JAGS, Stata and other statistical analysis packages
under the UNIX, GNU Linux, Microsoft Windows, Mac OS X and other
operating systems. ESS is a package for the GNU Emacs and XEmacs text
editors whose features ESS uses to streamline the creation and use of
statistical software. ESS knows the syntax and grammar of statistical
analysis packages and provides consistent display and editing features
based on that knowledge. ESS assists in interactive and batch
execution of statements written in these statistical analysis languages.
ESS is freely available under the GNU General Public License (GPL).
Please read the file COPYING which comes with the distribution, for
more information about the license. For more detailed information,
please read the README files that come with ESS.
1.1 Getting the Latest Version
The latest released version of ESS is always available on the web at:
ESS web page (http://ess.r-project.org) or StatLib
1.1.1 ESS subversion repository
The latest development version of ESS is available via
`https://svn.R-project.org/ESS/', the ESS Subversion repository. If
you have a Subversion client (see `http://subversion.tigris.org/'), you
can download the sources using:
% svn checkout https://svn.r-project.org/ESS/trunk PATH
which will put the ESS files into directory PATH. Later, within
that directory, `svn update' will bring that directory up to date.
Windows-based tools such as TortoiseSVN are also available for
downloading the files. Alternatively, you can browse the sources with a
web browser at: ESS SVN site (https://svn.r-project.org/ESS/trunk).
However, please use a subversion client instead to minimize the load
If you remove other versions of ESS from your emacs load-path, you
can then use the development version by adding the following to .emacs:
Note that https is required, and that the SSL certificate for the
Subversion server of the R project is
- Hostname: svn.r-project.org
- Valid: from Jul 16 08:10:01 2004 GMT until Jul 14 08:10:01 2014 GMT
- Issuer: Department of Mathematics, ETH Zurich, Zurich, Switzerland, CH
- Fingerprint: c9:5d:eb:f9:f2:56:d1:04:ba:44:61:f8:64:6b:d9:33:3f:93:6e:ad
(currently, there is no "trusted certificate"). You can accept this
certificate permanently and will not be asked about it anymore.
1.1.2 Git for development
For development and experimentation on new features, there is now a
GitHub branch for ESS, available at `https://github.com/emacs-ess/ESS'.
1.2 Current Features
* Languages Supported:
* S family (S 3/4, S-PLUS and R)
* XLispStat including Arc and ViSta
* Editing source code (S family, SAS, BUGS/JAGS, Stata)
* Syntactic indentation and highlighting of source code
* Partial evaluation of code
* Loading and error-checking of code
* Source code revision maintenance
* Batch execution (SAS, BUGS/JAGS)
* Use of imenu to provide links to appropriate functions
* Interacting with the process (S family, SAS, Stata)
* Command-line editing
* Searchable Command history
* Command-line completion of S family object names and file
* Quick access to object lists and search lists
* Transcript recording
* Interface to the help system
* Transcript manipulation (S family, Stata)
* Recording and saving transcript files
* Manipulating and editing saved transcripts
* Re-evaluating commands from transcript files
* Help File Editing (R)
* Syntactic indentation and highlighting of source code.
* Sending Examples to running ESS process.
ESS is most likely to work with current/recent versions of the following
statistical packages: R/S-PLUS, SAS, Stata, OpenBUGS and JAGS.
ESS supports current, and recent, stable versions of GNU Emacs
(specifically, the 22.x and 23.x series; alpha/beta/pre-release versions
are NOT SUPPORTED). XEmacs is currently NOT SUPPORTED, but ESS v. 5.14
should still work (XEmacs stable 21.4.14 or higher).
To build the PDF documentation, you will need a version of TeX Live
or texinfo that includes texi2dvi (BEWARE: recent TeX Live, and some
texinfo RPMs, do NOT include texi2dvi).
All recent released versions are meant to be release-quality versions.
While some new features are being introduced, we are cleaning up and
improving the interface. We know that there are many remaining
opportunities for documentation improvements, but all contributors are
volunteers and time is precious. Patches or suggested fixes with bug
reports are much appreciated!
1.5 Mailing List
There is a mailing list for discussions and announcements relating to
ESS. Join the list by sending an e-mail with "subscribe ess-help" (or
"help") in the body to <ess-help-request at stat.math.ethz.ch>;
contributions to the list may be mailed to
<ess-help at stat.math.ethz.ch>. Rest assured, this is a fairly
low-volume mailing list.
The purposes of the mailing list include
* helping users of ESS to get along with it.
* discussing aspects of using ESS on Emacs and XEmacs.
* suggestions for improvements.
* announcements of new releases of ESS.
* posting small patches to ESS.
1.6 Reporting Bugs
Please send bug reports, suggestions etc. to
<ESS-bugs at stat.math.ethz.ch>
The easiest way to do this is within Emacs by typing
This also gives the maintainers valuable information about your
installation which may help us to identify or even fix the bug.
If Emacs reports an error, backtraces can help us debug the problem.
Type "M-x set-variable RET debug-on-error RET t RET". Then run the
command that causes the error and you should see a *Backtrace* buffer
containing debug information; send us that buffer.
Note that comments, suggestions, words of praise and large cash
donations are also more than welcome.
* A.J. Rossini (mailto:blindglobe at gmail.com)
* Richard M. Heiberger (mailto:rmh at temple.edu)
* Kurt Hornik (mailto:Kurt.Hornik at R-project.org)
* Martin Maechler (mailto:maechler at stat.math.ethz.ch)
* Rodney A. Sparapani (mailto:rsparapa at mcw.edu)
* Stephen Eglen (mailto:stephen at gnu.org)
* Sebastian P. Luque (mailto:spluque at gmail.com)
* Vitalie Spinu (mailto:spinuvit at gmail.com)
* Henning Redestig (mailto:henning.red at googlemail.com)
The source and documentation of ESS is free software. You can
redistribute it and/or modify it under the terms of the GNU General
Public License as published by the Free Software Foundation; either
version 2, or (at your option) any later version.
ESS is distributed in the hope that it will be useful, but WITHOUT
ANY WARRANTY; without even the implied warranty of MERCHANTABILITY or
FITNESS FOR A PARTICULAR PURPOSE. See the GNU General Public License
in the file COPYING in the same directory as this file for more details.
1.9 New Features
Changes/New Features in 12.04:
* ESS: Reverting new behavior of 12.03, `TAB' in `ess-mode' no
longer completes by default. If you want smart `TAB'
completion in R and S scripts, similarly to iESS behavior,
set the variable `ess-tab-complete-in-script' to `t'. Also see
`ess-first-tab-never-complete' for how to customize where
first `TAB' is allowed to complete.
* ESS: completion is consistently bound to `M-TAB' (aka `C-M-i')
in both Emacs23 and Emacs24.
* ESS: The variable `ess-arg-function-offset-new-line'
introduced in ESS(12.03) now accepts a list with the first
element a number to indicate that the offset should be
computed from the indent of the previous line. For example
setting it to '(2) results in:
a <- some.function(
Changes/New Features in 12.03:
* ESS indentation: new offset variable
`ess-arg-function-offset-new-line' controlling for the
indentation of lines immediately following open '('. This is
useful to shift backwards function arguments after a long
function call expression:
a <- some.function(
instead of the old
a <- some.function(
If '(' is not followed by new line the behavior is unchanged:
a <- some.function(arg1,
This variable should be set as part of indentation style
lists, or in ess-mode hook.
* ESS[R]: `C-c .' sets (indentation) style.
* ESS: In ESS buffers `yank'(`C-y') command accepts double
argument `C-u C-u' to paste commands only. It deletes any
lines not beginning with a prompt, and then removes the
prompt from those lines that remain. Useful to paste code
from emails, documentation, inferior ESS buffers or
* Documentation: ESS user manual has been rearranged and
completed with several new chapters and sections to reflect
newly added features ("Completion", "Developing with ESS",
"ESS tracebug", "ESS developer", "ESS ElDoc", "IDO
Comppletion" and "Evaluating Code")
* RefCard: Reference card was updated to include new features.
* Eldoc: Eldoc was rewritten and is activated by default. See
`ess-eldoc-abbreviation-style' variables for how to change
the default behavior. _Note:_ `skeleton-pair-insert-maybe'
prohibits eldoc display, on `(' insertion.
* ESS[R]: Eldoc shows arguments of a generic function whenever
* ESS: `TAB' in `ess-mode' now indents and completes, if there
is nothing to indent. Set `ess-first-tab-never-completes-p'
to `t' to make `TAB' never complete on first invocation.
Completion mechanism is similar to the completion in the
`inferior-ess-mode' - a filename expansion is tried, if not
found ESS completes the symbol by querying the process.
* ESS for emacs version 24 or higher: ESS is fully compatible
with the emacs 24 completion scheme, i.e. all the completion
is done by `completion-at-point'. Also in accordance with
emacs conventions, ESS doesn't bind `M-TAB' for emacs 24 or
higher. `M-TAB' calls the default `complete-symbol'.
* ESS[R]: Out of the box integration with `Auto Completion'
mode (http://cx4a.org/software/auto-complete/). Three AC
sources `ac-source-R-args', `ac-source-R-objects' and
`ac-source-R' are provided. The last one combines the
previous two and makes them play nicely together. Set
`ess-use-auto-complete' to `t' to start using it. Refer to
documentation string of `ac-use-auto-complete' for further
* ESS[R]: New unified and fast argument completion system,
comprised of `ess-funname.start', `ess-function-arguments',
`ess-get-object-at-point'. Eldoc and auto-completion
integration are using this system.
* ESS: `ess-switch-to-end-of-ESS'(`C-c C-z'), and
`ess-switch-to-ESS'(`C-c C-y'): Automatically start the
process whenever needed.
* ESS[R]: `roxy' knows about previewing text version of the
documentation. Bound to `C-c C-e t'.
* ESS[R]: Solved the "nil filename" bug in roxygen support.
* ESS[R]: `ess-tracebug' is now part of ESS:
- Source injection: Tracebug now can inject source
references on the fly during code evaluation, i.e. you
don't have to source your file, but just evaluate your
code in normal fashion. Variable
`ess-tracebug-inject-source-p' controls this behavior -
if t, always inject source reference, if `'function',
inject only for functions (this is the default), if
`nil', never inject.
During the source injection the value of
`ess-eval-visibly-p' is ignored.
- Org-mode support: Visual debugger is now aware of the
temporary org source editing buffer (`C-c '') and jumps
through this buffers if still alive, or in original org
- New keys in watch mode: `?' and `d'
- Two new hooks: ess-tracebug-enter-hook and
* ESS[R]: New package `ess-developer' to evaluate `R' code
directly in the package environment and namespace. It can be
toggled on and off with `C-c d t'. When `ess-developer' is on
all ESS evaluation commands are redefined to evaluate code in
appropriate environments. Add package names to the list of
your development packages with `C-d a', and remove with `C-d
r'. Source the current file with `C-d s'.Evaluation function
which depend on ``ess-eval-region'' ask for the package to
source the code into, `ess-eval-function' and alternatives
search for the function name in the development packages'
environment and namespace and insert the definition
accordingly. See the documentation section "Developing with
ESS/ESS developer" for more details.
* ESS[R] help system:
- `q' quits window instead of calling
`ess-switch-to-end-of-ESS'. This is consistent with
emacs behavior help and other special buffers (_breaking
- `k' kills window without asking for the name (pointed by
- Help map inherits from `special-mode-map' as sugested by
- Package index: new function `ess-display-index' bound to
`i' in help mode map.
- Package vignettes: new function `ess-display-vignettes'
bound to `v' in help mode map.
- Display help in HTML browser: new function
`ess-display-help-in-browser' bound to `w' in help mode
map. It depends on `R''s `browser' option.
- New custom variable `ess-help-pop-to-buffer': if non-nil
ESS help buffers are given focus on display. The default
is `t' (_breaking change_).
- New menu entries for the above functions.
- Bogus help buffers are no longer generated by default,
i.e. buffers of the form "No documentation for 'foo' in
specified packages and libraries: you could try '??foo'
". `ess-help-kill-bogus-buffers' now defaults to `t'.
Beware, there may be instances where the default is
unsatisfactory such as debugging and/or during R
development. Thanks to Ross Boylan for making the
suggestion, Sam Steingold for reminding us of this
variable and Martin Maechler for the warning.
* ESS now uses `IDO' completing read functionality for all the
interactive requests. It uses ido completion mechanism
whenever available, and falls back on classical
completing-read otherwise. You can set `ess-use-ido' to nil
if you don't want the IDO completion. See the documentation
string of `ess-use-ido' for more information about `IDO' and
* ESS[S]: "`,'" is bound to ess-smart-comma: If comma is
invoked at the process marker of an ESS inferior buffer,
request and execute a command from ``ess-handy-commands''
list. If `ess-R-smart-operators' is t ``ess-smart-comma' also
inserts " " after comma.
* ESS[S], notably `R': Variable ``ess-handy-commands'' stores
an alist of useful commands which are called by
`ess-smart-comma' in the inferior buffer.
Handy commands: `ess-library', `ess-install.packages', etc -
ask for item with completion and execute the correspond
command. `ess-sos' is a interface to `findFn' function in
package `sos'. If package `sos' is not found, ask user for
* ESS: New dynamic mode line indicator: Process status is
automatically reflected in all mode-lines of associated with
the process buffers. Particularly useful for displaying debug
status of `ess-tracebug' and developer status of
`ess-developer' in all associated buffers.
* ESS: New `ess-completing-read' mechanism: ESS uses `ido'
completions whenever possible. Variable `ess-use-ido'
controls whether to use ido completion or not. Active by
* ESS now supports comint fields for output and input
detection. This feature is not used by default, but might be
useful in the future.
* ESS[S]: New custom variable `inferior-ess-S-prompt' to
customize prompt detection regular expression in the inferior
ESS buffers. You can customize this variable to enhance
comint navigation (`comint-previous-prompt' and
`comint-next-prompt') the inferior buffers.
* ESS[R]: Internal `R' completion retrieval
(`ess-R-complete-object-name') was rewritten and is faster
* ESS is using process plist to store process specific
variables, as opposed to buffer local variables as it was
using before. The use of buffer local variables to store
process variables is discouraged.
* ESS: new functions to manipulate process plists:
`ess-process-get' and `ess-process-set'.
* ESS: Internal process waiting mechanism was completely
rewritten. ESS no more relies on prompt regular expressions
for the prompt detection. The only requirement on the primary
process prompt is to end in `> '. This could be overwritten
by setting `inferor-ess-primary-prompt'.
* ESS[S], notably `R': Saved command history: ESS-HISTORY-FILE
now accepts `t' (default), `nil', or a file name. By setting
it to `nil' no command line history is saved anymore.
ESS-HISTORY-DIRECTORY now allows to have the history all
saved in one "central" file.
* ESS[R]: more Roxygen improvements.
* ESS[R]: `C-c .' to set (indentation) style.
* ESS[R]: Functions with non-standard names (for example
'aaa-bbb:cc') are properly handled by font-lock and
* ESS[R]:Several regexp bugs (described in etc/R-ESS-bugs.el)
were fixed in `ess-get-words-from-vector' and `ess-command'.
More information about the ESS-help