[ESS] Advice on setting up ESS to edit and knit Rmarkdown files

Chris Evans chr|@ho|d @end|ng |rom p@yctc@org
Sun Oct 3 08:26:25 CEST 2021

This looks really helpful Tyler: many thanks.

I'm buried in a bunch of non-work stresses and the usual work overload and I got the answer
to what I was doing wrong with knitr/Rstudio in terms of the block cacheing.  I'd love to 
have ESS as a fallback in the future but I can see I'm not going to get to this in the 
near future.

Just one thing that may chime with the ongoing discussion that my post seems to have 
seeded: I wouldn't know how to handle "You'll need new versions of poly-R (updated 29
September 2021) and markdown-mode (updated 6 January 2021)" and I never got my head 
around what melpa is.  Of course, that's an indictment of my choices and particularly
my time management choices but perhaps I represent a large group of users or potential
users (or ex-users?) of ESS: there was a point at which I simply didn't make the time
to keep up with these things.  It happened to coincide with my discovering Rstudio and
Rmarkdown (yes, I know that was coincidence that it happened around the same time, but
I didn't really see the appeal of Rstudio until I discovered Rmarkdown) and I just slid
from using ESS for most of my R work to using Emacs for most of my server text file
work but hardly using ESS at all.

Having tried, admittedly without allocating much time to it, to follow the discussion
here, I think there are three some for me:
1) when I started with Emacs and ESS (20 years ago?) I was younger and had more time 
   to learn things (oh to wind back time!!!, but perhaps this means ESS will still 
   get many new users, just that they'll be young!)
2) there was a big book for Emacs and ESS was a pretty simple bold onto Emacs so
   there wasn't much else I needed to learn for ESS
3) despite the fact that I never learned any pertinent lisp it just worked and when 
   I needed to install it on Windoze I could just pull Vincent Goulet's package of 
   everything I needed and that just worked too!
4) I think Rmarkdown is brilliant but it's complicated particularly if you have to 
   cache it (and I do have to) and it's clearly a challenge to support
5) so you (ESS genii) are where you are, still doing miracles unpaid and I'm both
   incredibly grateful and in awe but I've dropped off the learning curve.

I don't know if this any help at all but it's mostly appreciation of your help Tyler
and of everything so many people do for ESS (and FLOSS generally) and an apology for
not doing more!

Very best,


----- Original Message -----
> From: "Tyler Smith" <tyler using plantarum.ca>
> To: "Chris Evans" <chrishold using psyctc.org>
> Cc: "ess-help" <ess-help using r-project.org>
> Sent: Friday, 1 October, 2021 16:40:50
> Subject: Re: [ESS] Advice on setting up ESS to edit and knit Rmarkdown files

> Hello Chris,
> Here is the Rmd tutorial I've been working on:
> https://github.com/ess-intro/presentation-rmarkdown/blob/master/presentation-rmarkdown.Rmd
> I've just updated it to incorporate some simplifications in
> configuration that I've been working on with the Polymode
> developer Vitalie Spinu. You'll need new versions of poly-R
> (updated 29 September 2021) and markdown-mode (updated 6 January
> 2021) to use this as-is. With those completed, there's no further
> reason to procrastinate on turning this into a video, so I guess
> that's coming soon now too!
> Best,
> Tyler
> Chris Evans via ESS-help <ess-help using r-project.org> writes:
>> I am having problems with long Rmd files (and large data, long
>> processing times) in Rstudio. (Sorry, yes, I use Emacs for
>> things and
>> ESS when I'm working with R (but rarely Rmd files) on a server,
>> but I use Rstudio routinely "at home".) This has made me decide
>> it's
>> http://johnstantongeddes.org/open%20science/2014/03/26/Rmd-polymode.html
>> looked pretty straightforward but I thought I should ask here if
>> any changes since 2014 might make that too historical, perhaps
>> not
>> as I couldn't find much that was recent on the topic of ESS and
>> Rmd.  However, before I mess with an Emacs/ESS that works just
>> fine
>> currently, I thought I'd ask here.
>> I'm running on Ubuntu 20.04 "at home" and Debian (4.19.152-1
>> (2020-10-18) in case it matters) on the server (and might as
>> well
>> set things up on both if it's easy).
>> Any advice will be gratefully received (and, who knows, might
>> even tempt me back to Emacs/ESS for much more of what I'm
>> doing!)
>> TIA,
>> Chris
> --
> Tyler Smith
> plantarum.ca

Chris Evans (he/him) <chris using psyctc.org> Visiting Professor, University of Sheffield and UDLA, Quito, Ecuador
I do some consultation work for the University of Roehampton <chris.evans using roehampton.ac.uk> and other places
but <chris using psyctc.org> remains my main Email address.  I have a work web site at:
and a site I manage for CORE and CORE system trust at:
I have "semigrated" to France, see: 

If you want an Emeeting, I am trying to keep them to Thursdays and my diary is at:
Beware: French time, generally an hour ahead of UK.

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