[R] Replacing underscore character in Windows GUI

Martin Maechler maechler at stat.math.ethz.ch
Wed Aug 13 10:05:59 CEST 2003

This is becoming a relevant ESS topic, hence I divert it to the
ESS-help mailing list {and leave a not on the R-help list}.

>>>>> "tony" == A J Rossini <rossini at blindglobe.net>
>>>>>     on Tue, 12 Aug 2003 20:07:35 -0700 writes:

    tony> "kjetil brinchmann halvorsen" <kjetil at entelnet.bo> writes:
    >> On 12 Aug 2003 at 17:38, nels.tomlinson.1 wrote:
    >> I thought one of the reasons for removing the underscore as synonym 
    >> to <- was that at some later point it could be reintroduced in the 
    >> grammar, for example as a valid part of variable names. 
    >> If this is the case, this suggestion is a bad idea. Better to forget 
    >> the habvit of using _ for assignment! Maybe this reemplacement of _ 
    >> with <- will be removed from ess too?

    tony> Probably.  But there are those of us who don't like "_" for variable
    tony> names.  It reminds me too much of C and Python (though I like the
    tony> latter).   

    tony> I'd be happier removing "=" for assignment, as well.  It's a
    tony> monstrosity, though supposedly wiser heads think otherwise.  I know
    tony> the arguments, but I still think it should be removed.

((you know I've hated it forever, but "no way" now! -- 
  I even have to get used to it !

    tony> Maybe we'll make "=" electric -- one press becomes "<-", two presses
    tony> become "==".  Emacs is wonderful, sometimes.

This is an interesting proposal.
Yes, as one  main implementer of the electric "_" (expanding to 
" <- " (smartly, i.e. only one space on both sides), 
I have been thinking for several months now what we should do
with electric `_' for ESS in the future.
BTW: Currently "C-q _" gives an underscore (in strings /comments ).

Note that AFAIK this affects S-plus as well.  "_" is deprecated
there as assignment, (and "=" is possible but not recommended for assignment)

But there are other ESS users who do love "=" assigment
(prefering it to " <- " ?!) and who will want to use "_" as part
of variable names.

So, the new scheme should be easily configurable in any case,
ideally not only via custom, but even a `toggle-electric-=' entry in the
[ESS] and [iESS] menues.

This is a good time to think about this, I'd really want
something new in a released version of ESS before the end of the year!
Hence, dear ESS (+ R / S-plus) users, let's hear your
constructive proposals!

Martin Maechler <maechler at stat.math.ethz.ch>	http://stat.ethz.ch/~maechler/
Seminar fuer Statistik, ETH-Zentrum  LEO C16	Leonhardstr. 27
ETH (Federal Inst. Technology)	8092 Zurich	SWITZERLAND
phone: x-41-1-632-3408		fax: ...-1228			<><

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