[ESS] Help in separate emacs frame

Martin Maechler maechler at stat.math.ethz.ch
Wed Sep 14 09:02:03 CEST 2005

>>>>> "PaulEJ" == Paul Johnson <pauljohn at ku.edu>
>>>>>     on Tue, 13 Sep 2005 14:37:54 -0500 writes:

    PaulEJ> Greetings ESS users:

    PaulEJ> Remember way back when I was the one bothering
    PaulEJ> everybody about creating a way for users to start R
    PaulEJ> in a separate window and have ESS display help in a
    PaulEJ> separate Frame as well. 

 [yes, of course we remember that bothering guy very well :-) :-)
  -- seriously, thank you: it did lead to new functionality
  quite liked by some]

    PaulEJ> I think that was back in the
    PaulEJ> ess-5.2.4 era, and for a while everything worked the
    PaulEJ> way I liked.

    PaulEJ> Recently, I think with the introduction of ess-5.2.7, I see a funny 
    PaulEJ> thing happens.  If I type

    >> ?hist

    PaulEJ> in an ESS/R session window (the Frame where R is
    PaulEJ> running and you can type commands directly into R),
    PaulEJ> then the help appears in a separate buffer.

    PaulEJ> However, inside an R command file, the command

    PaulEJ> ?hist

    PaulEJ> sent to R through the ESS "eval" command does not
    PaulEJ> open a new window.  

nor a new buffer if you (like me) don't like things in separate windows.
And that's the case for both ways of eval,
    C-c C-n  ess-eval-line-and-step	-> ess-eval-linewise
and C-c C-j  ess-eval-line		-> ess-eval-region

where  ess-eval-linewise  and  ess-eval-region are two different
ess-eval engines

    PaulEJ> Instead, help shows in the ESS/R window itself.

But AFAIK this has been the case for all versions of ESS 'ever'.
I vaguely remember that I had looked into fixing this, and it
looked like quite a bit of work I wasn't willing to put in at
the time.

    PaulEJ> Perhaps I have guessed wrong on the init commands for the ESS session.
    PaulEJ> Here is what I've got in

    PaulEJ> /usr/share/emacs/site-lisp/site-start.d/emacs-ess-init.el

    PaulEJ> -----------------------
    PaulEJ> (require 'ess-site)
    PaulEJ> (setq inferior-ess-own-frame t)
    PaulEJ> (setq inferior-ess-same-window nil)

    PaulEJ> ;;create a new frame for each help instance

    PaulEJ> (setq ess-help-own-frame t)
    PaulEJ> ;; If you want all help
    PaulEJ> ;; buffers to go into one frame do:

    PaulEJ> (setq ess-help-own-frame 'one)
    PaulEJ> ---------------------------

    PaulEJ> If you have any advice about how to make the
    PaulEJ> behavior more uniform, so that ?hist from either the
    PaulEJ> R file or the session launches a help frame, I'd be
    PaulEJ> glad to hear it.

see above. 
Also, "patches are welcome"

    PaulEJ> -- 
    PaulEJ> Paul E. Johnson                       email: pauljohn at ku.edu
    PaulEJ> Dept. of Political Science            http://lark.cc.ku.edu/~pauljohn
    PaulEJ> 1541 Lilac Lane, Rm 504
    PaulEJ> University of Kansas                  Office: (785) 864-9086
    PaulEJ> Lawrence, Kansas 66044-3177           FAX: (785) 864-5700

Martin Maechler, ETH Zurich

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