[ESS] Failure to parse long R functions when ess-eval-visibly nil

Vitalie Spinu @p|nuv|t @end|ng |rom gm@||@com
Thu Oct 8 12:20:44 CEST 2015

You are right, it's likely not to fix the missing characters problem.It uses
xterm instead of shell, but the problem is surely at a much lower level than


>> On Thu, Oct 08 2015 03:01, Andreas Leha wrote:

> Hi Vitalie,

> Vitalie Spinu <spinuvit using gmail.com> writes:
>> Sam Steingold posted a complete working solution for how to make direct
>> connection with xterm + ssh + screen + R from emacs a while ago. The thread
>> should be easy to find.

> I guess you are referring to this [1]?  But then, I am confused.  That
> uses ess-remote as well.  So, why is this expected to not show the problem
> of truncating lines during the evaluation of long code?

> Thanks,
> Andreas

> [1] http://permalink.gmane.org/gmane.emacs.ess.general/8755

>>  Vitalie
>>>> On Wed, Oct 07 2015 21:25, Andreas Leha wrote:
>>> Hi Vitalie,
>>> Vitalie Spinu <spinuvit using gmail.com> writes:
>>>> This is a known problem with ess-remote. I have no idea why the characters are
>>>> lost. It's some emacs shell bug which I couldn't figure out last time I looked
>>>> into it. This problem is almost impossible to reproduce consistently and debug
>>>> properly.
>>>> I suggest you stick with tramp. This problem never occurs with tramp and you
>>>> have full set of ESS features on remotes, while ess-remote provides only a very
>>>> limited functionality.
>>> I have reported this problem a while back, too [1].
>>> I'd also recommend using tramp where possible.  I just want to mention
>>> again, that to my knowledge that won't work with screen/tmux sessions on
>>> the remote side.  So, that advice won't help for most of my remote work.
>>> (Most of my remote sessions live inside a screen session, because my
>>> remote sessions are typically long and computationally intensive and
>>> often even initiate submissions to a cluster.  If they were not, I would
>>> run that on the local machine.)
>>> Thanks,
>>> Andreas
>>> [1] http://permalink.gmane.org/gmane.emacs.ess.general/8690>
>>>>>> On Wed, Oct 07 2015 13:47, Robert McGehee wrote:
>>>>> Hello,
>>>>> I'm having an issue in which sufficiently long and complex functions will
>>>>> fail to correctly evaluate in R (with e.g. ess-eval-function) if
>>>>> ess-eval-visibly is nil rather than true. Instead I receive syntax errors
>>>>> part way through the function that seem to indicate that a line or
>>>>> character was accidentally dropped during the ess eval making the function
>>>>> un-parsable. If I turn on visibility (ess-eval-visibly t), the problem
>>>>> disappears but the evaluation takes a long time due to latency on my setup.
>>>>> Moreover, the problem isn't perfectly reproducible as the syntax error will
>>>>> occur somewhat at random. However, with a sufficiently long and complex
>>>>> function (e.g. 300+ lines) I'm virtually guaranteed an error.
>>>>> Unfortunately, my setup is likely unusual so I'm not sure if this is an ESS
>>>>> error. However, I wanted to post in case anyone had any ideas on a fix
>>>>> (besides just turning ess-eval-visibly to true).
>>>>> For my setup, I run emacs 24.5.1 on my local (USA) Windows box via Cygwin
>>>>> and have ESS 15.09 installed from source. I connect to a remote (European)
>>>>> Linux server via emacs shell and ssh, then start R (3.2.2) and start
>>>>> ESS-mode with M-x ess-remote. I run emacs locally rather than on the server
>>>>> side as I'm connecting to a server across the Atlantic ocean and latency is
>>>>> too high for X11 forwarding. Additionally, given the latency, I have to
>>>>> wait a considerable amount of time to eval an R function visibly, whereas
>>>>> it happens extremely fast if I turn off visible eval. Thus, I'd much prefer
>>>>> a working non-visible eval.
>>>>> Here's a simple function I used to generate the syntax error. It has the
>>>>> advantage of nearly guaranteeing a parsing failure if any character is
>>>>> missing.
>>>>> a <- function(x) {
>>>>>     if (a(b,"c"))
>>>>>         x <- d(e(f(g,"H"),"I"),"J",k="L")
>>>>>     if (a(b,"c"))
>>>>>         x <- d(e(f(g,"H"),"I"),"J",k="L")
>>>>> <...snip... repeated ~300 times>
>>>>>     if (a(b,"c"))
>>>>>         x <- d(e(f(g,"H"),"I"),"J",k="L")
>>>>> }
>>>>> ## Here is the error I got indicating two closing parentheses "))" were
>>>>> dropped during eval:
>>>>> Error: unexpected symbol in:
>>>>> "    if (a(b,"c"
>>>>>         x"
>>>>> (Possibly unrelated, if any line has two consecutive tab characters, then
>>>>> ESS will actually print the contents of the home directory of the remote
>>>>> server, which is exceptionally weird.)
>>>>> Please let me know if anyone has any thoughts on this. Otherwise I'll just
>>>>> turn ess-eval-visibly back to true.
>>>>> Thanks!
>>>>> Robert
>>>>> PS.
>>>>> Here is the relevant portion of my .emacs file:
>>>>> (require 'cl)
>>>>> (load "cc-mode")
>>>>> (load "compile")
>>>>> (require 'ess-site)
>>>>> (setq comint-scroll-to-bottom-on-input t)
>>>>> (setq comint-scroll-to-bottom-on-output t)
>>>>> (setq ess-eval-visibly nil)
>>>>> (setq ess-nuke-trailing-whitespace-p t)
>>>>> (setq-default ess-directory "/tmp/")
>>>>> (define-key key-translation-map [?\C-h] [?\C-?])
>>>>> (transient-mark-mode t)
>>>>> (setq display-time-day-and-date t)
>>>>> (display-time-mode 1)
>>>>> (setq visible-bell t)
>>>>> (setq undo-outer-limit 100000)
>>>>> (setq line-number-display-limit nil)
>>>>> (setq line-number-display-limit-width 2000)
>>>>> (setq column-number-mode t)
>>>>> (require 'paren)
>>>>> (if (fboundp 'show-paren-mode) (show-paren-mode 1))
>>>>> (setenv "PID" nil)
>>>>> (put 'upcase-region 'disabled nil)
>>>>> (add-hook 'ess-mode-hook
>>>>>       (lambda ()
>>>>>         (ess-set-style 'C++ 'quiet)
>>>>>         (add-hook 'local-write-file-hooks
>>>>>               (lambda ()
>>>>>             (ess-nuke-trailing-whitespace)))))
>>>>> (setq truncate-partial-width-windows nil)
>>>>> 	[[alternative HTML version deleted]]
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