[ESS] Aquamacs ESS slow scroll (buffering?)

Steve Lianoglou lianoglou.steve at gene.com
Sun Nov 24 22:51:07 CET 2013


On Sun, Nov 24, 2013 at 12:06 PM, Paul Johnson <pauljohn32 at gmail.com> wrote:
> I've been uninterested in Macs, but I'm trying to be more helpful with
> student questions by using a MacBook Pro sometimes.  I installed Aquamacs,
> which has ESS 13.05 built in.
> I'm encouraging students to Aquamacs because there is some hope of
> continuity across platforms if they learn Emacs on Windows and Linux.  But
> it is not as uniform as I would like, since Aquamacs has fiddled the menus
> and shortcut keys just enough to make this frustrating. Anyway...

If this is frustrating you, you can always encourage your students to
use plain emacs on os x instead of aquamacs. A binary is readily
available from:


Or installable via homebrew:


> Yesterday, a student said he preferred to use R.app because Aquamacs is
> super slow while displaying long vectors of text values. Huh? I thought he
> must have broken something in his Mac, but I see same.

Still -- I don't think using a different emacs here will solve your
problem (I tested your code w/ mine that was built from source).

Given that running R from the terminal doesn't exhibit this problem,
although running R from ESS running in the terminal still does, I
guess this must be specific to emacs.

I tried to disable font-locking, which provided a marginal speed up,
but still it is slow dumping the contents to the ess process buffer.

> Can you guess if this is a configuration problem, or a Mac OSX problem?

Does emacs on linux not exhibit this problem with this much text being
sent to the process buffer? I'm ssh-ing into our compute cluster and
running the same commands there (linux machines), and I'm seeing the
same issue. Perhaps that's because emacs is running remotely? Don't

Putting this issue aside, though, one thing you might suggest to your
students is to set `options(max.print=10000)` or some other reasonable
number -- it's hard to think of a scenario where the use wants to dump
such a huge amount of text to the buffer that isn't caused by


Steve Lianoglou
Computational Biologist

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