In R it is possible to customise the appearance of a dendrogram and set a custom start character for the last branches. According to the documentation:

In some environments, using ' will provide much nicer looking output, than the historical default `.

Emacs ESS does just this and, in ess-s-l.el, sets the option str.dendrogram.last to a single quote. It is a sort of strict requirement, in fact, contrary to the Emacs ESS philosophy (where everything can be customised), this setting is hardcoded in ess-s-l.el and is difficult to override. Therefore I assume that Emacs is one of those environments where single quotes look much nicer than backticks.

Anyway, in my current Windows Emacs version, backticks look perfect and I am going (trying) to get rid of it.
However I wonder whether there is some situation where backticks might display poorly or it is a problem showed in some old Emacs version.


Are you asking how to set str.dendrogram.last to "`"? That can be done from R using the last.str argument to str():

str(dend1, max = 2, last.str =  "`") 

or, it can be set using the function

options(str.dendrogram.last = "`") 

You can add the options() call to your .Rprofile file to have it loaded automatically, which should over-ride the setting imposed by ESS.

Whether this displays poorly or not will depend on the font you are using.

| improve this answer | |
  • Actually I just would like to understand why they set the single quotation. I think there should be a specific reason to override R defaults. – antonio Oct 11 '16 at 17:22
  • The ESS group is pretty active, you could ask them directly. – Tyler Oct 11 '16 at 17:46

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.