Summary Help for beginners

Martin Henry H. Stevens hstevens at
Fri Apr 27 21:05:25 CEST 2001

Many Thanks to all who provided help, and apologies for complications.

1. Now that I have installed Emacs and ESS for the first time, I kind of
know some of my stumbling blocks:
    a. If I had windows-specific instructions, I lost them. The readme file
I found have only Unix instrucitons.
    b. Many problems were due to lack of experience in DOS. Read this ONLY
if you want a good chuckle, or if you are interested in conveying this stuff
to non-programmers.  Instructions to edit the .emacs file frustrated me
because I coouldn't find it. (I didn't know that I might have to create
it!). I also could not create the .emacs or _emacs file, because my windows
machine appended ".txt" I eventaully figured out that I could change the
name in the explorer to "_emacs".  Other instrucitons said
"Alternatively, can also do: (require 'ess-site)...."  I didn't
understand how to "do" that. Now I know that means to type it in verbatim on
a line in the ess-site.el file. There were many little snafus such as
these-I can't remember them all, but see below regarding my savior, E.P.

2. I used the help archive by E. Paradis. His instructions were geared to a
sufficiently simplistic level that I could begin to understand the process
and avoid the mass confusion I felt earlier. I particularly liked his
suggestion to "avoid unpacking...[ESS] in the Emacs (sub)directory(ies) so
that you can upgrade Emacs and ESS independently in the future". His
instructions were sufficiently explicit for this neophyte to accomplish
that. Additional pointers on how to "set the HOME environment variable" for
Windows 9X would be helpful. How do you do that? Precisely what would I type
in the autoexe.bat file? Instructions on using the Explorer to alter
extensions and file name allowances were very helpful!

3. R. Heiberger suggested "Read the ESS document
  doc/README.SPLUS4WIN where it says
The easiest way to install ESS on Windows machines is to place the
unzipped directory tree on the machine in, for specificity,
Then add the following line to your ~/_emacs (or ~/.emacs) file:
  (load-file "c:/emacs/ess-5.1.18/lisp/ess-site.el")

For more detail see ...

It was VERY helpful that Rich said explicitly where the correct help file

4. M. Maechler wrote
"...   http:/

is still THE site for things like this.
Maybe the R (i.e CRAN) should rather point to it."

5. T. Stockton provided me with his own .emacs file as an example.

----- Original Message -----

Subject: Re: Help Archives for a beginner

At 16:57 25/04/01 -0400, Henry Stevens wrote:

I am trying to load ESS on my Windows 98 machine (Emacs 20.7) and need more
explicit instructions than are presented at the R
project home page. I would like to search the Archives of this ESS list, but
I don't know where they are. How do I access the Archives for this list ? If
anyone has VERY explicit instructions for loading ESS I would appreciate
that even more. I can't make heads or tails out of pretty simple stuff. For
instance, the help at R home page states "In the ESS-5.1.x directory, edit
the file `Makefile' (only if you want to place the executables in other
locations; see LISPDIR and INFODIR) and then type: make make install" I
don't even know where type this. Emacs doesn't recognize "make" and MS DOS
doesn't recognize it either. Anyway, all advice is welcome.
thanks, Henry Dr. M. Henry H. Stevens
Postdoctoral Associate
Department of Ecology, Evolution, & Natural Resources
14 College Farm Road
Cook College, Rutgers University
New Brunswick, NJ 08901-8551 email: hstevens at
phone: 732-932-9631
fax: 732-932-8746

ess-help mailing list -- To (un)subscribe, send
subscribe	or	unsubscribe
(in the "body", not the subject !)  To: ess-help-request at

More information about the ESS-help mailing list