ess bets mismanages help output?

Paul Johnson pauljohn at
Fri Mar 19 16:23:07 CET 2004

You've been so responsive that I hate to test your patience. But if you 
don't mind, can I say that I think the best thing would be to cause ESS 
to pop up a new frame in which to display help buffers.  In fact, it 
would be better for me if BOTH the R session that ESS launches and the R 
help messages were in their own frames. Rcmdr does this and it is pleasant!

I want 2  big full window buffers, one with R and one with the ESS and R 
code.  It is a total downer that I have to constantly rearrange buffers. 
  If I make a new frame and put the R session in there, then every time 
I run a command through ESS (with the execute & go thing) it splits my 
code frame and shows R in the other part.  If ESS just had the habit of 
writing in its own frame, it would be nicer for me.

And, while I'm at it, here are a couple of other things I notice since 
upgrading to the beta version.
1. I find CONTROL-up this thing annoying.  In the R session, start 
typing some command, and then realize you forgot the syntax, so do 
CONTROL-up to find the command from before.  WHen you do that, the 
characters that were typed before CONTROL-up are appended to the end of 
the command line, so you can't run the command from before.

2. I wish it were easy to transfer commands that I type into the R 
session back into the ESS buffer.  Here's the way I use ESS and R.  In 
the R session, I experiment with commands until they work. Since name 
completion is available, that's more convenient than typing into ESS 
buffer and then running.  When they do what I want, I copy them to the 
ESS buffer, so I can save and come  back and run again.  The 
highlighting in the R session under ESS makes it frustrating to select 
lines.  If there were "copy to pointer location in most recent ESS 
buffer" it would be very much more fun.


A.J. Rossini wrote:
> Rodney Sparapani <rsparapa at> writes:
>>Hmmm.  options(htmlhelp = TRUE) does nothing for me.  I still get ?lm in an 
>>emacs buffer.  Of course, I'm using help.start(), but Martin seems to be using 
>>something else; what is that?  By the way, is anyone else bothered by the 
>>sporadic highlighting of the 'for's, 'in's, 'switch's, etc. of their output.  
>>Shouldn't just the input be highlighted, i.e. lines that start with '>' or '+'?  
> That is one good approach -- another would be to just highlight
> quotes, and turn off reserved-work highlighting in process buffers.
> best,
> -tony

Paul E. Johnson                       email: pauljohn at
Dept. of Political Science  
1541 Lilac Lane, Rm 504
University of Kansas                  Office: (785) 864-9086
Lawrence, Kansas 66044-3177           FAX: (785) 864-5700

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