[PC-BSD Pbi-dev] "Emacs+ESS+R"... need suggestion

Ken Moore ken at pcbsd.org
Thu Nov 25 10:19:19 PST 2010

On 11/24/2010 00:10, Sam Lin wrote:
> Dear PCBSD fellows,
> As a researcher it is very crucial to statistically analyse the data
> obtained in our research work. I have recently successfully set up a
> statistical environment on my PCBSD system with Emacs+ESS+R and would
> like to build a pbi for the statistical environment. Here I would like
> to here your advice.
> As some of you may have known, Emacs is a multipurpose editor, ESS
> (Emacs Speaks Statistics) is an Emacs package of modes for statistical
> languages, and R is a programming language and software environment
> for statistical computing and graphics. That said, except for ESS
> which is a "plug-in" for Emacs and R, Emacs and R are in fact
> individual software and the ports/pbi for these two have also existed.
> ESS does not exist in FreeBSD ports tree as of this writing.
> My question is, do I ...
> 1. make a pbi for "Emacs+ESS+R" so as to integrate all these three
> into just one "meta"-pbi and also so that on pbidir.com there is only
> this one meta-pbi instead of separate "Emacs" and "R" pbis? Or...
> 2. make them separately so there would be "Emacs+ESS", "ESS" and "R"
> pbis? (BTW I don't think there is point to make a pbi for ESS alone as
> ESS itself cannot do anything unless you have Emacs and at least one
> statistical package, but just in case) Or...
> 3. do both 1 and 2 so as to provide more options for the users?
> The option 1 is to make building a statistical environment as easy as
> one step (only one pbi) and perhaps would also make some pbis at
> pbidir.com less redundant... otherwise users may be confused by the
> difference among "Emacs" "R" and "Emacs+ESS+R". Or perhaps this
> confuse can be minimised by giving this meta-pbi a name like "PCBSD
> statistical package" or likewise?
> The reason for the option 2 is that considering that some users may
> have installed "R" or "Emacs" and they may only be willing to install
> the missing software to build the statistical environment. After all
> it is not preferable to overwrite an existing folder for a pbi with
> another pbi that appeared the same.
> Which one would be preferred in terms of pbi management?
> Thanks
> Sam
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> Pbi-dev at lists.pcbsd.org
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We already have PBI's for emacs and R, so it sound like you just need 
the ESS plugin for emacs.
The best way would probably be to just include the ESS plugin with the 
emacs PBI. Then you would simply have to install 2 PBI's to get your 
system setup.

Since ESS is not a freebsd port, you would need to change the emacs 
module to download and set up ESS automatically, but that will probably 
be a very complicated process. It might be better just to get ESS ported 
to freebsd and then include it with the emacs PBI the regular way. This 
will also ensure that all the version checking and updating will work.

~ Ken Moore

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