[ESS] ESS 12.03 released

Martin Maechler maechler at stat.math.ethz.ch
Fri Mar 30 14:57:15 CEST 2012

Timely matching with the release of R 2.15.0 earlier today,
we've released ESS 12.03 a couple of minutes ago...
where I add few notes to the announcement (file ANNOUNCE part of
the release):

- As you can see we've decided about a new version naming scheme
  and are using    yy.mm    now,
  aiming towards a bi-annual release cycle.

- The list of new features is so large this time that this 
  in itself may warrant a jump from version 5.x to 12.y.

- A majority of the new features are mostly thanks to our new
  ESS core team member, Vitalie Spinu, to whom goes thanks in particular.

In the name of the ESS core team,
Martin Maechler, ETH Zurich


The ESS Developers proudly announce the release of ESS


   Emacs Speaks Statistics (ESS) provides an intelligent, consistent
interface between the user and the software.  ESS interfaces with
R/S-PLUS, SAS, BUGS/JAGS, Stata and other statistical analysis packages
under the UNIX, GNU Linux, Microsoft Windows, Mac OS X and other
operating systems.  ESS is a package for the GNU Emacs and XEmacs text
editors whose features ESS uses to streamline the creation and use of
statistical software.  ESS knows the syntax and grammar of statistical
analysis packages and provides consistent display and editing features
based on that knowledge.  ESS assists in interactive and batch
execution of statements written in these statistical analysis languages.

   ESS is freely available under the GNU General Public License (GPL).
Please read the file COPYING which comes with the distribution, for
more information about the license. For more detailed information,
please read the README files that come with ESS.

1.1 Getting the Latest Version

The latest released version of ESS is always available on the web at:
ESS web page 


1.9 New Features

     Changes/New Features in 12.03:
        * ESS GitHub branch is now available at

        * ESS indentation: new offset variable
          `ess-arg-function-offset-new-line' controlling for the
          indentation of lines immediately following open '('. This is
          useful to shift backwards function arguments after a long
          function call expression:

            a <- some.function(

          instead of the old

            a <- some.function(

          If '(' is not followed by new line the behavior is unchanged:

            a <- some.function(arg1,

          This variable should be set as part of indentation style
          lists, or in ess-mode hook.

        * ESS[R]: `C-c .' sets (indentation) style.

        * ESS: In ESS buffers `yank'(`C-y') command accepts  double
          argument `C-u C-u' to paste commands only. It deletes any
          lines not beginning with a prompt, and then removes the
          prompt from those lines that remain. Useful to paste code
          from emails, documentation, inferior ESS buffers or
          transcript files.

        * Documentation: ESS user manual has been rearranged and
          completed with several new chapters and sections to reflect
          newly added features ("Completion", "Developing with ESS",
          "ESS tracebug", "ESS developer", "ESS ElDoc", "IDO
          Comppletion" and "Evaluating Code")

        * RefCard: Reference card was updated to include new features.

        * Eldoc: Eldoc was rewritten and is activated by default.  See
          `ess-use-eldoc', `ess-eldoc-show-on-symbol',
          `ess-eldoc-abbreviation-style' variables for how to change
          the default behavior. _Note:_ `skeleton-pair-insert-maybe'
          prohibits eldoc display, on `(' insertion.

        * ESS[R]: Eldoc shows arguments of a generic function whenever

        * ESS: `TAB' in `ess-mode' now indents and completes, if there
          is nothing to indent. Set `ess-first-tab-never-completes-p'
          to `t' to make `TAB' never complete on first invocation.
          Completion mechanism is similar to the completion in the
          `inferior-ess-mode' - a filename expansion is tried, if not
          found ESS completes the symbol by querying the process.

        * ESS for emacs version 24 or higher: ESS is  fully compatible
          with the emacs 24 completion scheme, i.e. all the completion
          is done by `completion-at-point'. Also in accordance with
          emacs conventions, ESS doesn't bind `M-TAB' for emacs 24 or
          higher. `M-TAB' calls the default `complete-symbol'.

        * ESS[R]: Out of the box integration with `Auto Completion'
          mode (http://cx4a.org/software/auto-complete/). Three AC
          sources `ac-source-R-args', `ac-source-R-objects' and
          `ac-source-R' are provided. The last one combines the
          previous two and makes them play nicely together. Set
          `ess-use-auto-complete' to `t' to start using it.  Refer to
          documentation string of `ac-use-auto-complete' for further

        * ESS[R]: New unified and fast argument completion system,
          comprised of `ess-funname.start', `ess-function-arguments',
          `ess-get-object-at-point'. Eldoc and auto-completion
          integration are using this system.

        * ESS: `ess-switch-to-end-of-ESS'(`C-c C-z'), and
          `ess-switch-to-ESS'(`C-c C-y'): Automatically start the
          process whenever needed.

        * ESS[R]: `roxy' knows about previewing text version of the
          documentation. Bound to `C-c C-e t'.

        * ESS[R]: Solved the "nil filename" bug in roxygen support.

        * ESS[R]: `ess-tracebug' is now part of ESS:

          New Features:

             - Source injection: Tracebug now can inject source
               references on the fly during code evaluation, i.e. you
               don't have to source your file, but just evaluate your
               code in normal fashion. Variable
               `ess-tracebug-inject-source-p' controls this behavior -
               if t, always inject source reference, if `'function',
               inject only for functions (this is the default), if
               `nil', never inject.

               During the source injection the value of
               `ess-eval-visibly-p' is ignored.

             - Org-mode support: Visual debugger is now aware of the
               temporary org source editing buffer (`C-c '') and jumps
               through this buffers if still alive, or in original org
               buffer otherwise.

             - New keys in watch mode: `?' and `d'

             - Two new hooks: ess-tracebug-enter-hook and

        * ESS[R]: New package `ess-developer' to evaluate `R' code
          directly in the package environment and namespace. It can be
          toggled on and off with `C-c d t'. When `ess-developer' is on
          all ESS evaluation commands are redefined to evaluate code in
          appropriate environments. Add package names to the list of
          your development packages with `C-d a', and remove with `C-d
          r'. Source the current file with `C-d s'.Evaluation function
          which depend on ``ess-eval-region'' ask for the package to
          source the code into, `ess-eval-function' and alternatives
          search for the function name in the development packages'
          environment and namespace and insert the definition
          accordingly. See the documentation section "Developing with
          ESS/ESS developer" for more details.

        * ESS[R] help system:

          New Features:

             - `q' quits window instead of calling
               `ess-switch-to-end-of-ESS'.  This is consistent with
               emacs behavior help and other special buffers (_breaking

             - `k' kills window without asking for the name (pointed by
               Sam Steingold)

             - Help map inherits from `special-mode-map' as sugested by
               Sam Steingold.

             - Package index: new function `ess-display-index' bound to
               `i' in help mode map.

             - Package vignettes: new function `ess-display-vignettes'
               bound to `v' in help mode map.

             - Display help in HTML browser: new function
               `ess-display-help-in-browser' bound to `w' in help mode
               map. It depends on `R''s `browser' option.

             - New custom variable `ess-help-pop-to-buffer': if non-nil
               ESS help buffers are given focus on display. The default
               is `t' (_breaking change_).

             - New menu entries for the above functions.

             - Bogus help buffers are no longer generated by default,
               i.e.  buffers of the form "No documentation for 'foo' in
               specified packages and libraries: you could try '??foo'
               ".  `ess-help-kill-bogus-buffers' now defaults to `t'.
               Beware, there may be instances where the default is
               unsatisfactory such as debugging and/or during R
               development.  Thanks to Ross Boylan for making the
               suggestion, Sam Steingold for reminding us of this
               variable and Martin Maechler for the warning.

        * ESS now uses `IDO' completing read functionality for all the
          interactive requests. It uses ido completion mechanism
          whenever available, and falls back on classical
          completing-read otherwise. You can set `ess-use-ido' to nil
          if you don't want the IDO completion. See the documentation
          string of `ess-use-ido' for more information about `IDO' and
          ESS configuration.

        * ESS[S]: "`,'" is bound to ess-smart-comma: If comma is
          invoked at the process marker of an ESS inferior buffer,
          request and execute a command from ``ess-handy-commands''
          list. If `ess-R-smart-operators' is t ``ess-smart-comma' also
          inserts " " after comma.

        * ESS[S], notably `R': Variable ``ess-handy-commands'' stores
          an alist of useful commands which are called by
          `ess-smart-comma' in the inferior buffer.

          Currently containing:












          Handy commands: `ess-library', `ess-install.packages', etc -
          ask for item with completion and execute the correspond
          command. `ess-sos' is a interface to `findFn' function in
          package `sos'. If package `sos' is not found, ask user for
          interactive install.

        * ESS: New dynamic mode line indicator: Process status is
          automatically reflected in all mode-lines of associated with
          the process buffers. Particularly useful for displaying debug
          status of `ess-tracebug' and developer status of
          `ess-developer' in all associated buffers.

        * ESS: New `ess-completing-read' mechanism: ESS uses `ido'
          completions whenever possible. Variable `ess-use-ido'
          controls whether to use ido completion or not. Active by

        * ESS now supports comint fields for output and input
          detection. This feature is not used by default, but might be
          useful in the future.

        * ESS[S]: New custom variable `inferior-ess-S-prompt' to
          customize prompt detection regular expression in the inferior
          ESS buffers. You can customize this variable to enhance
          comint navigation (`comint-previous-prompt' and
          `comint-next-prompt') the inferior buffers.

        * ESS[R]: Internal `R' completion retrieval
          (`ess-R-complete-object-name')  was rewritten and is faster

        * ESS is using process plist to store process specific
          variables, as opposed to buffer local variables as it was
          using before. The use of buffer local variables to store
          process variables is discouraged.

        * ESS: new functions to manipulate process plists:
          `ess-process-get' and `ess-process-set'.

        * ESS: Internal process waiting mechanism was completely
          rewritten. ESS no more relies on prompt regular expressions
          for the prompt detection. The only requirement on the primary
          process prompt is to end in `> '. This could be overwritten
          by setting `inferor-ess-primary-prompt'.

        * ESS[S], notably `R': Saved command history:  ESS-HISTORY-FILE
          now accepts `t' (default), `nil', or a  file name. By setting
          it to `nil' no command line history is saved  anymore.
          ESS-HISTORY-DIRECTORY now allows to have the history  all
          saved in one "central" file.

        * ESS[R]: more Roxygen improvements.

        * ESS[R]: `C-c .' to set (indentation) style.

        * ESS[R]: Functions with non-standard names (for example
          'aaa-bbb:cc') are properly handled by font-lock and
          evaluation routines.

        * ESS[R]:Several regexp bugs (described in etc/R-ESS-bugs.el)
          were fixed in `ess-get-words-from-vector' and `ess-command'.

- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - 

     Changes/New Features in 5.14:
        * ESS[BUGS/JAGS]:  Batch BUGS is back!  For recent OpenBUGS
          versions, 3.0.8+, a batch BUGS script is once again available,
          but for Linux only.  Therefore, since it seems that BUGS and
          JAGS must co-exist (rather than a transition from BUGS to
          JAGS), .bug files are now in ESS[BUGS] mode and .jag files
          are in ESS[JAGS] mode.  ESS[BUGS] now works like ESS[JAGS]
          rather than the original mode ESS[BUGS] mode which was
          difficult to maintain.  Although, ESS[BUGS] appears to work,
          there still may be some features missing as well as bugs.

        * ESS[R]: New customizable variable `ess-swv-plug-into-AUCTeX-p'
          Commands to Sweave current file and LaTeX the result are now
          available to AUCTeX users, if this variable is set to `t'.

        * ESS[S]: `C-c C-c' (`ess-eval-function-or-paragraph-and-step')
          is now skipping over comments as the other paragraph
          functions do.  It (and similar functions) should no longer
          wrongly find `function()' beginnings inside comments or

        * ESS[SAS]: improved by better support for GNU Emacs

     Changes/New Features in 5.13:
        * ESS[R]: On Windows, for R 2.12.0 and later, the Rterm
          executables  (in subdirectories i386 / x64) now are found as
          well as for earlier R versions.

        * ESS[S+]: on Windows, both 32- and 64-bit versions of S+
          ("S-PLUS")  are found now and made available on the menu.

        * ESS[R]: When prompting for a starting directory, the R
          version is  (always?) correct now.

        * ESS[R]: on non-Windows platforms, the `use-dialog-box'
          variable is no longer temporarily changed (to `nil' for
          R-x.y.z version  functions and to `t' for `R' itself), but
          rather the user  customization is obeyed.

        * ESS[R]: more Roxygen improvements.

        * `Rd-preview-help' now generates preview buffers with
          navigation facilities the same as regular help buffers.

        * ESS: New functions and keys C-c [up] / [down]  for evaluating
          the buffer "from beginning till here".

     Changes/New Features in 5.12:
        * ESS[SAS] Font-locking:  update of PROCs keywords (up to SAS
          9.22); error/warnings.

        * ESS[R]: Roxygen improvements: S4 classes;  also optionally
          keep spaces when filling arguments

        * ESS[Rd]: support new keywords:  section-name \subsection plus
          a dozen "new" keywords; should match R  2.12.x now.

        * `ess-display-help-on-object' (`C-c C-v')  now _caches_ the
          list of topics, thus speeding up the improvement  feature
          introduced in 5.9.

     Changes/New Features in 5.11:
        * Filename completion within buffers now adds only trailing
          characters to complete the filename, rather than expanding to
          an absolute file path.  This filename completion is bound to
          the TAB key.

        * `M-n P' in Sweave buffers now prompts for the command to run
          instead of using `pdflatex' unconditionally, offering
          completion from customizable collection
          `ess-swv-pdflatex-commands', the first of which is taken as
          default and that defaults to `texi2pdf'.

        * `M-RET' is now also bound in S language (R and S+) buffers to
          `ess-use-this-dir'. It sends `setwd(..)' to the S process to
          set the working directory to the one of the source file.

     Changes/New Features in 5.10:
        * `M-RET' in *S* buffers is now bound to `ess-dirs'.  This
          function will set Emacs's current directory to be the same as
          the *S* process.  This is useful if you use `setwd()' within
          a *S* process.

     Changes/New Features in 5.9:
        * Toolbar:  The toolbar now has an icon for starting Splus.

        * Indentation: New documentation and code has been added to
          make it easier to change how ESS indents code.  In
          particular, see `ess-default-style', `ess-own-style-list' and
          the documention subsection "Changing indentation styles".

        * `ess-display-help-on-object' (`C-c C-v') now offers
          completion candidates for help file aliases, in addition to
          object  names.

        * Font locking: is now turned on  even without `window-system'
          is `nil', whenever  ESS-FONT-LOCK-MODE is non-nil, i.e., by

        * ESS script editing: ess-eval-deactivate-mark default is now t,
          as suggested by Leo Alekseyev and subsequent "unanimous"
          ESS-help  discussion.

        * ESS[R]: Editing support for "#!" (Rscript / littler) editing,
          thanks to Jeffrey Arnold.

        * ESS[R]: Now finds all R versions, both 64-bit and 32-bit, on
          some  64-bit Windows machines.  Please report back to
          ess-core success or failure  on your 64-bit Windows machine.

        * ESS Manual now more visually pleasing;

        * ESS[R]: Roxygen on XEmacs no longer font locks for now  (as
          it required missing features and hence broke ESS startup,

        * ESS[R]: Roxygen has a sub-menu on the [ESS] menu.

        * ESS[R]: Function `ess-rutils-htmldocs' in  `ess-rutils.el'
          offers an alternative to `help.start()' for  navigating R
          documentation, using the `browse-url' Emacs  function.


More information about the ESS-help mailing list