[R] further on ESS/XEmacs for Windows

John Fox jfox at mcmaster.ca
Wed Nov 27 03:36:03 CET 2002

Dear list members,

I've had helpful feedback from a number of people, several of whom 
experienced some problems getting my XEmacs/ESS configuration files for 
Windows to work properly. I will, of course, make changes based on this 
feedback, but the following information may be of use in the interim:

(1) It's clear that my instructions and installation procedure were 
insufficiently flexible. In particular, putting the .xemacs configuration 
directory in c:\ caused some problems:

     On Windows 9x systems, it's necessary to have the environment variable 
HOME point to the directory in which .xemacs is located; for example, if 
this directory is in c:\, place the line

   set HOME=c:\

in the autoexec.bat file. As well, the proper way to redefine the path is

   path=%path%;"c:\program files\r\rw1061\bin"

(or wherever rterm.exe is). Again, this line goes in autoexec.bat.

     In Windows NT, 2000, or XP, if there is no HOME environment variable 
(the usual case), then XEmacs uses HOMEDRIVE and HOMEPATH to locate the 
.xemacs configuration directory. To see where XEmacs is looking, open a 
command prompt (DOS) window and type

   echo %homedrive%%homepath%

If the answer isn't c:\, then you can either move the .xemacs directory 
accordingly or define HOME=c:\

     As well, having my self-extracting archive try to place files in the 
right places was a mistake, I believe, since the locations are 
XEmacs-version dependent.

     These problems are easily dealt with, I believe, and I apologize for 
any frustration that my (poor) initial choices produced.

(2) I spent a good part of the day today trying XEmacs and ESS on a variety 
of Windows systems -- with and without my configuration files. I noticed a 
number of intermittent problems with GUI-related commands, such as attempts 
to open dialog boxes causing the R process to freeze. I'll try to track 
down the source of these problems.

Thanks for your patience.
John Fox
Department of Sociology
McMaster University
Hamilton, Ontario, Canada L8S 4M4
email: jfox at mcmaster.ca
phone: 905-525-9140x23604
web: www.socsci.mcmaster.ca/jfox

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