beautifying an R package

Martin Maechler maechler at
Wed Oct 11 15:32:10 CEST 2000

Answering myself :
>>>>> "MM" == Martin Maechler <maechler at> writes:

>>>>> "Rich" == Rich Heiberger <rmh at> writes:
    Rich> On the "_" key.  It's a good plan to default it to " <- " when
    Rich> writing code.  It is necessary to retain its original value "_"
    Rich> when inside quotation marks.  The "_" is frequently used as a
    Rich> character in file names, for example "_Data" in S-Plus 4.x and
    Rich> air_band.q in the R library of scripts.

    MM> how frequently?  `C-q _' ("q" for "quote") will always give plain
    MM> "_"

(yes, but see below..)

    Rich> unfortunately, the need for the distinction in default
    Rich> behaviors---within and without quotation marks---makes the coding
    Rich> of the switch more difficult.

    MM> Yes, one would have to use an ``electric binding'' which might work
    MM> well here, since we already have (a more or less correct) function

    >>> (defun inside-string/comment-p (pos)
    >>>  .........

    MM> What are 5.1.17 release plans?  
    MM> Can/should the above
    MM> electrification be done before?

in the mean time, 5.1.17 has been released as a test release..

But the above idea, an electric "_" key, 
was too easy not to be done, once I tried...
This is now committed for 5.1.18 with the following entry in "new features":

 o   New `ess-smart-underscore' function, now assigned to "_" by default.
     Inserts `ess-S-assign' (customizable " <- "), unless inside string
     and comments where plain "_" is used instead.

Martin Maechler <maechler at>
Seminar fuer Statistik, ETH-Zentrum  LEO D10	Leonhardstr. 27
ETH (Federal Inst. Technology)	8092 Zurich	SWITZERLAND
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