[ESS] differences in performance of ESS versions (using either XEmacs or Emacs)
Robert M Dorazio
bob_dorazio at usgs.gov
Fri Apr 11 13:56:37 CEST 2008
I've used ESS in conjunction with Xemacs on various Windows operating
systems for several years. I mainly use Xemacs+ESS for R programming and
Xemacs for C++ programming. Recently, I tried GNU Emacs to compare its
operating characteristics with Xemacs. As part of the comparison, I
installed the most recent versions of the 3 software packages:
Emacs has a slightly more contemporary "look and feel", but is otherwise
quite similar to Xemacs. I like them both.
An expected discovery was that the current version of ESS has several
undesirable operating characteristics compared to the version of ESS that I
had been using (ESS 5.2.12). For example,
1. The default behavior of ESS 5.3.7 is to echo a buffer's contents to R
when sourcing a function that is opened in the buffer. This only occurs
during the first time a function is sourced, but it is annoying. Is there
a way to avoid this??
2. While sourcing an R function the first time (as described in #1), ESS
5.3.7 is MUCH SLOWER than ESS 5.2.12, even for only moderate sized
functions. Why is that? Is there a way to speed things up?
3. When using R2WinBUGS with Emacs+ESS+R, there is a significant delay (a
minute or so!!) in regaining access to the R buffer -- or, for that matter,
to any Emacs buffer -- once WinBUGS is finished and has returned control to
R. I experience no such delay when using Xemacs+ESS+R. This is the only
major difference I experienced between Emacs and Xemacs that would seem to
favor the latter when using ESS[R].
I should add that I made no special changes to Xemacs or Emacs other than
A. For Xemacs, I used John Fox's init.el file to create the R menu.
B. For Emacs, I downloaded Vincent Goulet's bundle of Emacs, ESS, etc.
Any suggestions or comments regarding #1 - #3 above are greatly
Department of Statistics
University of Florida
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Phone: (352) 392-3081
Web site: http://ifasstat.ifas.ufl.edu/BDorazio.html
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