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Q: how can I get to the source code of R packages using ESS?

When I'm working with elisp, I can access the source code for any package easily with find-library or by following the links in find-function or find-variable.

I'd like to be able to do the same thing with R via Emacs Speaks Statistics (ess). How can I get ess to send me to the source code of a given function/package?

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I have had some decent success with ess-r-xref. (require 'ess-r-xref) and then M-. (xref-find-definitions) with point on some symbol. It should prompt you to save a TAGS file. Then M-. should do what you want.

Check out https://www.gnu.org/software/emacs/manual/html_node/emacs/Xref.html

Alternately:

I'm a big proponent of the Language Server Protocol. There's an R language server that should work with lsp-mode, but does not yet support find definition/reference requests AFAIK. I would recommend monitoring that project.

  • ess-build-tags-for-directory, bound to C-c C-e t and C-c C-e C-t is helpful for setting up xref. – Tyler Oct 25 '18 at 14:02

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