Grokbase Groups R r-help March 2002
(I reply to the Re: message because inadvertently I deleted the original)

My opinion is that using the ESS interface
for R is great for people who are used to emacs, and less
good for the rest of people, because it is less intuitive
than other editors (i.e., WinEdit). For me it was
hard to get
used to the (many) idiosynchratic details of emacs (a minor example,
few people has a key labelled as META, but the M-... are
everywhere in emacs). Also, I don't like the fact
that if you, for example, make an ls() and then select
and copy an object with the mouse and paste, you don't paste
in the command line but on the list itself, unless you bring the
cursor to the command line first. Very
often I was
not in the R command line and used to get (and still get sometimes) a
message: "No command in this line".
Also, at least in my setup, the begin key brings you on top of the
">" instead of on top of the first character after ">".
Probably all these are minor problems (or perhaps, even advantages) for
people who use emacs also for other purposes.

Personally, I like better the Windows gui for R + WinEdit, although
I prefer linux for other reasons. The facility for printing
and saving graphics from the graphic window is another very useful
feature that I miss in linux.


Dr. Agustin Lobo
Instituto de Ciencias de la Tierra (CSIC)
Lluis Sole Sabaris s/n
08028 Barcelona SPAIN
tel 34 93409 5410
fax 34 93411 0012
alobo at

On Wed, 13 Mar 2002 david.whiting at wrote:


For a while I had been trying to avoid learning emacs (I got into vi,
liked it and didn't want to mess with this C-x M-x C-c etc nonsense). I
couldn't find a way to get R to work intimately with vi, so I recently
decided I needed give ess a go. I have been working with it for about a
total of 6 hours and I have a strong feeling that I am going to get very
hooked (so to speak) on emacs and ess. It didn't take me long at all to
get used to C-x C-keystroke, M-x etc (it's not nonsense at all). You
only really have to learn a few key editing features to started and then
it seems that it is possible to do almost anything once you get more

Make sure you take the advice of the docs and save a "transcript" (with
the appropriate extension) as this will make certain transcript-specific
features available. For example, it is very handy to be able to select a
region of commands and clean it to remove all but the functions ready to
be used to create a program.

I am not sure from your email if you already use emacs or not. If you
do, then you will find that ess makes life easier immediately. If not,
then like me you will spend a short while wondering how to do the most
simple things, but after a short investment find it worthwhile. Below I
have attached a short crib sheet I made as I started to learn emacs with
R. You will notice that most of the notes are related to emacs rather
than R because once I understand enough of emacs I was able to open the
R help in another buffer and refer to that.



Some key keys to get me started in emacs. My particular interest is to
be learn to use ESS.

M-x R Start R session
M-ENTER resubmit command and place cursor at beginning
of next command

C-h b List of key bindings. Use / to search for regexp
C-h m Mode based help, i.e. context specific help

File stuff:
C-x C-f 'Visit' a file, including creating a new file
C-x C-s Save buffer
C-x C-c Save buffers, kill emacs

C-_ Undo
ESC d kill word
ESC DEL kill word backwards
C-y paste
C-space start to select a region (mark)

C-x C-b list buffers (in another buffer)
C-x b <buffer name> change to a specific buffer
C-x 1 make this buffer fill the whole screen
C-x 2 split screen into two
C-x o select the other buffer when screen is split
C-x k <buffer name> kill a buffer

C-x C-b C-x o <select buffer> RET

This will list the buffers, take you to the buffer list, then you select
a buffer and press RET to enter the buffer.

On Tue, Mar 12, 2002 at 09:03:00PM -0800, Francisco J Molina wrote:
I would like some feedback about how useful is the iESS mode to run R in
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Dave Whiting
Dar es Salaam, Tanzania
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postedMar 13, '02 at 5:03a
activeMar 14, '02 at 7:30a



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