[ESS] ADMB support in ESS

Vitalie Spinu spinuvit at gmail.com
Wed Nov 19 00:56:04 CET 2014

Hi Arni,

That emacs mode seems to be a good piece of kit. If I understand you
correctly the idea is to use ESS as a shipment platform and to keep the
maintenance and development elsewhere. That could be easily achieved
with git sub-modules and could be a way to go in principle. But, it
seems to me that by merging it with ESS you would actually make yourself
a disfavor. There are a couple of reason with that.

Firstly, modern emacs has a very nice package distribution system (ELPA)
and there are already thousands of libraries out there (see
http://melpa.org/ for examples). Installing a package is as easy as
typing `M-x package-install ADMB`.

Secondly, over the years it becomes more and more apparent that bigger
is not the better. In order to develop good software developers must
also be users themselves. Unfortunately that's not the case with ESS
anymore. There is a huge load of ESS code which none of the core
developers uses anymore and that's already a huge burden.

Thirdly, ADMB is a simple package without a need for ESS's interactive
support. Arguably interactive support is the only reason that a package
might want to be part of ESS. So bundling it with such a hair ball as
ESS seems like an unnecessary complication for everyone.

Finally, ESS is heading towards ELPA packaging system itself and that
means that it might be eventually split into ESS core + smaller packages
for each dialect. Then users using only R will not need to download and
load all of the ESS.

So to conclude, I personally believe that your package would be much
better off as a standalone package on MELPA. If you have a github
location, I can help you adding it right away. MELPA is the biggest
emacs package repository out there with rolling automatic updates
directly from your vcs. So if you have your package on github, all your
new changes will be automatically rolled to all of your users with no
further input from your side.

The other 2 repositories for emacs packages are ELPA (official GNU repo
for which you would need to a FSF copyright assignment) and Marmelade
(for stable packages and you would need to upload your package
explicitly AFAIK).


 >>> Arni Magnusson on Mon, 17 Nov 2014 12:10:48 +0000 (GMT) wrote:

 > Dear ESS developers (core and contributors),

 > ESS provides Emacs support for a suite of statistical programming languages: R,
 > SAS, Julia, etc. I'm wondering whether I can suggest adding support for ADMB.

 > AD Model Builder (ADMB) is a free statistical software environment (a layer on
 > top of C++) that handles nonlinear models with a large number of parameters and
 > random effects. It has been downloaded several 1000 times and cited several 100
 > times in publications:

 >   http://admb-project.org
 >   http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/ADMB
 >   http://code.google.com/p/admb-project/downloads/list
 >   http://tandfonline.com/doi/abs/10.1080/10556788.2011.597854

 > As an ADMB core developer, I have written and maintained an `admb-mode' for
 > Emacs:

 >   http://admb-project.org/tools/editors/emacs/admb.el/view
 >   http://admb-project.org/tools/editors/emacs/archive

 > It is a standard major mode and follows the Emacs major mode conventions, as
 > outlined in the Lisp reference manual. It provides syntax highlighting, IDE
 > compilation and file manipulation, outline code navigation, templates, and
 > smaller tools.

 > ---

 > Until now, I have distributed admb.el from the admb-project.org website, and
 > provided a link on EmacsWiki.

 > I would be thankful if `admb-mode' can join the ESS family of statistical
 > modes. Most ADMB users have ESS installed already, so they would appreciate less
 > installation work. ADMB Mode fits the scope of ESS, has required little
 > maintenance work, has no external dependencies, and compiles without warnings.

 > This weekend, I submitted admb.el to ESS project leader Martin Mächler, who
 > acknowledged that it might be a useful addition to ESS. He recommended that I
 > send this message to the ess-help mailing list, for an open discussion on
 > whether/how ess-admb.el should be incorporated into ESS.

 > Looking forward to hearing your comments, both general and technical.

 > Arni

 > ______________________________________________
 > ESS-help at r-project.org mailing list
 > https://stat.ethz.ch/mailman/listinfo/ess-help

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