Extending ESS -- Mathematica

Jan Rychter jan at rychter.com
Wed May 14 10:32:45 CEST 2003


I've been using ESS for a while now, with R. Since I do some work with
Mathematica as well, I started wondering -- why not just use the same
interface for both programs? The command-line frontend to Mathematica
seems to behave very similarly to R (and probably many other
interactive computational packages). The syntax for programs is very
strict and logical. 

Here's what an example session looks like:

Mathematica 4.2 for Linux
Copyright 1988-2002 Wolfram Research, Inc.
 -- Terminal graphics initialized -- 

In[1]:= f[x_] := x^2

In[2]:= Integrate[f[x], x]

Out[2]= --

In[3]:= Plot[f[x], {x, -2, 2}]
[...if you have X, a popup window appears, if you don't, you get a nice
 ASCII plot...]

Out[3]= -Graphics-

In[4]:= Exit[]

I wanted to ask before I do anything -- has anyone attempted this? Also,
a word of advice would be nice: is it difficult to extend ESS to support
another package? Are there any particular limitations of ESS that would
make this a difficult undertaking?

Any other hints?

PS: yes, I know about the two packages that support Mathematica in
Emacs/XEmacs. But I'd really enjoy using just one unified
interface. Besides, the packages seem unmaintained.

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