R-beta: Announcing ESS 5.0 (Emacs mode for statistical programming and data analysis)

Anthony Rossini rossini at math.sc.edu
Tue Dec 2 14:40:16 CET 1997

Annoucing the release of ESS-5.0 (Emacs Speaks Statistics).

ESS is an Emacs package which provides a standard interface between
statistical programs and statistical processes.  It is intended to
provide assistance for interactive statistical programming and data
analysis, and was is based on and extends the capabilities of S-mode.
The code is freely available but is not in the public domain.  It is
distributed under the GNU GPL.  Please read the file COPYING for more
information about the license.

ESS grew out of the desire to extend S-mode-4.8.  The current set of
developers desired support for:
- XEmacs 
- R
- S4.  

In addition, with new modes being developed for R, Stata, and SAS, it
was felt a unifying interface and framework for the user interface,
would benefit both the user and the developer, by helping both groups
conform to standard Emacs usage.  The end result is an increase in
efficiency for statistical programming and data analysis, over the
usual tools.

We are grateful to David M. Smith , the previous developer (for S-mode
3.x and 4.x), as well as to the initial developers of S-mode, Doug
Bates, Ed Kademan and Frank Ritter.

And to help remove any further confusion:

	The name is __ESS__.  Not ESS-mode.

Thank you :-).


Languages Supported (or planned for support)

- S dialects (S 3/4, S-PLUS 3.x/4.x/5.x, and R)
- LispStat dialects (XLispStat, ViSta)
- Stata
- SPSS dialects (SPSS, Fiasco (GNU project))
Editing source code (S, LispStat, SAS)

- Syntactic indentation and highlighting of source code 
- Evaluations of subsets of code in different processes (one at a
- Loading and error-checking of code 
- Source code revision maintenance 
- limited interaction with Noweb, for literate statistical

Interacting with the process (S, LispStat, SAS)

- Command-line editing 
- Searchable Command history 
- Command-line completion of S object names and file names 
- Quick access to object lists and search lists 
- Transcript recording 
- Interface to the help system 

Transcript manipulation (S3, S+3, S4, R, XLispStat)

- Recording and saving transcript files 
- Manipulating and editing saved transcripts 
- Re-evaluating commands from transcript files 


Version 5.0 is meant as a functional release, and corrects many bugs
in S-mode 4.8.  We do not consider it beta-software.  However, there
are some holes as far as its functionality for the newly supported
languages (SAS, XLispStat); see the file Doc/TODO for details.


ESS version 5.0 requires Emacs version 19.29, XEmacs version 19.14, or
later version.  ESS is supposed to work with any version of S, S-PLUS,
R, SAS, or XLispStat.

It has been most thoroughly tested with:

	S-PLUS 3.3 and 3.4, S4, R 0.49 and 0.50, XLispStat 3.50, and
	SAS on (when available) SunOS, Solaris, SGI, and Linux (Unix)

	Emacs 19.29, 19.34, XEmacs 19.16, XEmacs 20.4.

	Emacs 19.28 with SAS (with additional modifications)

It may need some work with other configurations.  We have included
configuration suggestions for emacs 19.28 and SAS in Doc/README-19.28.

Suggestions and information about attempts to port to
Microsoft-developed operating systems are encouraged.  In particular,
it is an open question whether or not it can be implemented for
XLispStat, ViSta, R, S-PLUS 4.0, Stata, and SAS under a Microsoft
environment using NTEmacs (or the version of XEmacs for Microsoft
Windows NT currently under development).  In particular, the
developers need information on how to redirect the listener and
command-line output and input for the above statistical programs.


The latest versions of ESS are always available by WWW from:

You can download the current version of the README there, as well. 

The HTML version of the documentation can be found at:



There is a mailing list for discussions and announcements relating to
ESS.  Join the list by sending an e-mail with "subscribe ess-help"
(or "help") in the body to ess-help-request at stat.math.ethz.ch;
contributions to the list may be mailed to ess-help at stat.math.ethz.ch.
Rest assured, this is a fairly low-volume mailing list.

The purposes of the mailing list include

- helping users of ESS to get along with it.
- discussing aspects of using ESS for GNU Emacs and XEmacs.
- suggestions for improvements.
- announcements of new [beta] releases of ESS.
- posting small patches to ESS.

Richard M. Heiberger <rmh at fisher.stat.temple.edu>
Kurt Hornik <hornik at ci.tuwien.ac.at>
Martin Maechler <maechler at stat.math.ethz.ch>
A.J. (Tony) Rossini <rossini at stat.sc.edu> (alt: <rossini at hsph.harvard.edu>) 
r-help mailing list -- Read http://www.ci.tuwien.ac.at/~hornik/R/R-FAQ.html
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