# calling Splus 6 help from within emacs etc.

A.J. Rossini rossini at blindglobe.net
Sun Feb 16 01:19:14 CET 2003

Faheem Mitha <faheem at email.unc.edu> writes:

> \begin{off-topic}
>
> Oh? I thought (tenured) academics have the God-given right to do whatever
> they want, including nothing at all if they so wish. That is certainly the
> way the people around here behave. :-)
>
> \end{off-topic}

I'm not tenured, and I know very few decent faculty members who behave
that way.  Maybe I've been fortunate in that I've never been in a
department with "dead wood", but all the departments that I've been
privileged to have been associated with (Biostat, Penn State; Stat, U
South Carolina; Biostat, U Washington) have had highly active senior
faculty working very, very hard; this includes the so-called "lesser"
departments I've worked for, as well as the fairly prestigious one that
I'm currently associated with, thanks to a spousal hire.

HOWEVER, it is well known that encoraging software development for the
non-tenured is morally evil, as well as a great way to leave academia.

I would NEVER recommend it for junior faculty members who would like
to get promoted.  Given my experience, would suggest that it is both
STUPID and IDIOTIC to engage in the development of deployable
computational tools and assist with support.

computational tools: YES.

Deployable: NO.

Bother to support: STUPID TO THE POINT OF INSANITY.

Even if I were "tenured" (actually, in my position, this amounts to
promotion), this activity is NOT looked on with favor, at least by my
current department (more "geez, isn't that amusing").

Not that I'd do things differently, given a second chance, but as for

Salvaging S-mode, fixing SAS-mode, and constructing ESS has taken a
good bit of my time since 1994.  It has had a reasonably large impact
on the statistical community (we've seen deployments at many pharmas,
many academic departments, many financial institutions, etc).

AND, it counts MUCH less in my department than my position on the
editorial board of a small journal.  "Lesser Community Service",
something like being faculty advisor for the Ultimate Frisbee Club.

So don't even get me started.  I'm up for promotion next year, and
it's a toss-up.  So I do NOT find your insulting comment funny or
remotely amusing.

>> I think there is a site-wide local override for (X)Emacs, not sure
>> where the distributions are putting them these days.
>
> How would you suggest I find out what it is?

You mentioned Debian.  Look in the /etc/emacs directories, which are
supposed to be conf-files (configurable by local sysadmin) for
overriding settings.

You can add a "local" startup initialization file there, post "ESS"
install, which sets variables appropriately.

best,
-tony

--
A.J. Rossini				Rsrch. Asst. Prof. of Biostatistics
U. of Washington Biostatistics		rossini at u.washington.edu
FHCRC/SCHARP/HIV Vaccine Trials Net	rossini at scharp.org
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