[ESS] .emacs file seems not fully operative since upgrade from 22.3 to 24.3

Christopher W. Ryan cryan at binghamton.edu
Mon Feb 27 16:43:16 CET 2012

Thinking it might help with some of my issues, I just downloaded and
installed Vince Goulet's modified-2 version of emacs 23.4.

The default directory for creating new files in emacs still defaults to
C:\Documents and Settings\ryanc

instead of C:\DATA like my .emacs file says. (Here is an excerpt:

;; make DATA the default directory when starting emacs
(setq default-directory "C:/DATA" )
;; the above stopped working when I upgraded emacs to 23.4. Try this instead
(cd "C:/DATA/")

The site-start.el versus default.el dilemma is way over my emacs-novice
head, I'm afraid. Any other suggestions how to get my default directory
back to C:\DATA ?


Christopher W. Ryan, MD
SUNY Upstate Medical University Clinical Campus at Binghamton
425 Robinson Street, Binghamton, NY  13904

"Observation is a more powerful force than you could possibly reckon.
The invisible, the overlooked, and the unobserved are the most in danger
of reaching the end of the spectrum. They lose the last of their light.
>From there, anything can happen . . ."  [God, in "Joan of Arcadia,"
episode entitled, "The Uncertainty Principle."]

Sparapani, Rodney wrote:
> Hi Vitalie:
> Well, if you read...
> http://www.gnu.org/software/emacs/manual/html_node/emacs/Init-File.html
> You will see that default.el is favored over site-start.el ...
> Your site may also have a site startup file; this is named site-start.el, if it exists. Like default.el, Emacs finds this file via the standard search path for Lisp libraries. Emacs loads this library before it loads your init file. We recommend against using site-start.el for changes that some users may not like. It is better to put them in default.el, so that users can more easily override them.
> Also, it is my experience, that GNU Emacs installations are more likely to have default.el rather that
> site-start.el (and, FWIW, XEmacs is the reverse; I had never heard of default.el).  Also, I think we
> should gave Vincent a break here.  He just changed it due to feedback from Stephen and
> I; and now you want him to change it back.  Let's cut him some slack please :o)
> Rodney
> ________________________________________
> From: Vitalie Spinu [spinuvit at gmail.com]
> Sent: Saturday, February 18, 2012 3:57 AM
> To: Sparapani, Rodney
> Cc: Christopher W Ryan; ess-help at stat.math.ethz.ch
> Subject: Re: .emacs file seems not fully operative since upgrade from 22.3 to 24.3
>>>>> Rodney Sparapani <rsparapa at mcw.edu>
>>>>> on Fri, 17 Feb 2012 15:16:40 -0600 wrote:
>   > Vitalie Spinu wrote:
>   >>
>   >> I am probably missing something obvious here, but how does it behave better
>   >> if it overrides user's settings behind his back?
>   >>
>   > For many ESS variables, you need the setq before the require.  That way
>   > the setq's in their init files will be honored.  For example,
>   > (setq ess-sas-global-unix-keys t) needs to be before (require 'ess-site)
>   > so the functions that rely on the setting of this variable get to see
>   > the user's preference rather than the default specified by the defvar
>   > which is nil (GECS does not allow function keys to be set globally by
>   > default).
>   > Rodney
> Ok, I see the point now. It's harmless as long as there are no resets
> with (setq ..), i.e. everything is done with (defvar ...).
> In the case of Vincent's default.el it's the setqs which are overriding
> the user's settings. It might be a good idea that all these setqs,
> unrelated to ESS, be moved back to .site-start.el which is executed
> before the users init file.
> Vitalie.

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