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R Emacs Lisp
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#+TITLE: swankr: SWANK (and SLIME) for R #+AUTHOR: Christophe Rhodes #+EMAIL: email@example.com * Introduction This is swankr, an implementation of the swank[fn:1] protocol for R[fn:2]. While the coverage of swank protocol functions is currently limited, enough is implemented for swankr to be useful: at the very minimum, it can be used to develop and extend itself. ** Relationship with ESS Emacs Speaks Statistics[fn:3] provides an interaction mode for R (among other statistical software packages), including an interface to R's toplevel, and keybindings to send input to R, to look up documentation, and so on. Where it differs most noticeably from swankr is in the level of integration of various facilities with emacs: ESS uses the browser() debugger, whereas swankr provides its own debugger, sldb; swankr provides a custom REPL with hooks for common commands; and so on. On the other hand, ESS is mature, feature-rich software, while swankr is only a little more advanced than a proof-of-concept. For Lisp programmers, perhaps the most useful analogy is to say that swankr intends to be to ESS what SLIME is to ILISP. At present, ESS mode remains active in R source buffers, providing font-locking functionality among other things. * Installation ** Emacs configuration *** Installing SLIME SLIME is required separately from swankr. To install slime, perhaps the simplest is to pull the CVS sources into a user-specific site directory, and arrange for that to be on the emacs =load-path=; I did #+begin_src sh mkdir -p ~/.emacs.d/site-lisp cd ~/.emacs.d/site-lisp cvs -z3 -d:pserver:anonymous:firstname.lastname@example.org:/project/slime/cvsroot co slime #+end_src Following that, I have in my =~/.emacs= (you will need to adjust paths to executables and source files): #+begin_src emacs-lisp ;;; ~/.emacs.d/ (let ((default-directory (concat user-emacs-directory (convert-standard-filename "site-lisp/")))) (normal-top-level-add-subdirs-to-load-path)) ;;; SLIME (require 'slime) (setq slime-net-coding-system 'utf-8-unix) (slime-setup '(slime-asdf slime-repl slime-scratch slime-presentations slime-media)) (setq slime-lisp-implementations '((sbcl ("sbcl" "--dynamic-space-size" "2048" "--load" "/home/csr21/src/lisp/quicklisp/setup.lisp")) (git-sbcl ("sh" "/home/csr21/src/lisp/sbcl/run-sbcl.sh" "--dynamic-space-size" "2048")) (R ("R" "--no-save" "--max-vsize=4096M") :init (lambda (port-filename coding-system) (format "source('/home/csr21/src/R/swankr/swank.R', keep.source=TRUE, chdir=TRUE)\nstartSwank('%s')\n" port-filename))))) (global-set-key (kbd "s-s") 'slime-selector) #+end_src *** Additional refinements In addition, for keybindings like =C-c C-c= to work properly, emacs needs to be told how to guess where a function definition begins. This can be achieved with /e.g./ #+BEGIN_SRC emacs-lisp (add-hook 'ess-mode-hook (lambda () (setq defun-prompt-regexp "^\\(\\(\\sw\\|\\s_\\)+\\|\\s\"\\S\"+\\s\"\\)\\s-*\\(=\\|<-\\)\\s-*function\\s-*(.*)\\s-*"))) #+END_SRC Fontification of quoted function names is suboptimal by default in ESS; the following form in =~/.emacs= fixes that for ESS 5.11. #+BEGIN_SRC emacs-lisp (eval-after-load "ess-common" (setq ess-R-mode-font-lock-keywords (append (list '("\\(\\sw\\|\\s_\\)+\\s-*\\(=\\|<-\\)\\s-*function" 1 font-lock-function-name-face t) '("\\s\"\\(\\S\"+\\)\\s\"\\s-*\\(=\\|<-\\)\\s-*function" 1 font-lock-function-name-face t)) ess-R-mode-font-lock-keywords))) #+END_SRC *** Running After performing the installation steps above, =M-- M-x slime RET R RET= should start swank. You will be prompted to accept a version mismatch -- simply accept -- then the SLIME REPL should start up, giving a prompt. Enjoy! ** Proof-of-concept (OBSOLETE) [ The instructions here are for the seriously impatient, and do not give as good an experience ] To begin using swankr: 1. start R; 2. load the swank.R file: #+BEGIN_SRC R source("swank.R") #+END_SRC 3. at the R prompt, run #+BEGIN_SRC R swank(); #+END_SRC 4. within emacs, load and initialize slime; #+BEGIN_SRC emacs-lisp (require 'slime) (slime-setup '(slime-repl slime-presentations slime-media)) #+END_SRC 5. run =M-x slime-connect=, accepting the default host and port, and acknowledging the protocol version mismatch. At this point, an R REPL should appear. * Development swankr's primary development repository is a git repository, accessible through <http://common-lisp.net/r/users/crhodes/swankr.git> and git://common-lisp.net/users/crhodes/swankr.git; a web view of the development history is [[http://common-lisp.net/gitweb?p=users/crhodes/swankr.git][available through gitweb]]. You can also view the current lists of [[file:BUGS.org]] and [[file:TODO.org]] items. * Acknowledgments Thanks to my colleagues at [[http://www.gold.ac.uk/][Goldsmiths, University of London]], for suggesting that I investigate R for numerical and graphical investigations, and to my colleagues at [[http://www.teclo.net/][Teclo Networks AG]] for giving me motivation to get around to it. Initial development was done at the [[http://ismir2010.ismir.net/][International Symposium on Music Information Retrieval]], which I attended (indirectly) thanks to the EPSRC-funded [[http://www.omras2.org/][OMRAS2]] research project and the [[http://www.londoninternational.ac.uk][University of London External System]]; Helmut Eller's partial implementation of swank for Ruby was an excellent blueprint to get development started. * Footnotes [fn:1] part of SLIME, the Superior Lisp Interaction Mode for Emacs: <http://common-lisp.net/project/slime/>. [fn:2] a free software environment for statistical computing and graphics: <http://www.r-project.org/>. [fn:3] also known as ESS, an emacs mode for interacting with a number of statistical software packages, including R: <http://ess.r-project.org/>. * COMMENT: Local Variables: mode: org; End: