New design for R html help pages

Friedrich Leisch
Mon, 26 Jan 1998 14:16:58 +0100


I've completed a re-design of the R html help pages over the weekend
(without the Kitzb=FChel ski races on TV I would have had some more time
...). The design is actually not from me but from Tanja Afra, a
student of our department.

Anyway, I've put a snapshot on

please have a look and feel free to make any suggestions when you
think something is not intuitive or ... I really want to get feedback
before I start writing new stuff.

I'm mostly concerned about usability, function is more important than
form. The biggest changes are in the listing of the base package
... there is now a description for each function in it and a
click-able alphabet in the beginning (known bug: it also includes dead
links for letters where no R objects exist.

The function pages contain no `back' button on purpose ... eventually
I also want to include pages from different locations than
$RHOME/library and then there will be no way to have a back button
(these use relative links working only inside $RHOME). Use your
browser's back button or history instead

Features I'll implement once we have agreed on the design:

	*) alphabetic list of all functions installed in RHOME
	*) function lists sorted by keywords
	*) help() optionally sends a request to netscape instead of
	   displaying the nroff version (controlled via options or
	   something similar)

Features I'd like to have but don't know how to do (because I don't
speak Java):
	*) search the help pages

Ok, so much for contents, now for design: The look of a product is
certainly important when trying to sell something, so I really think
we should have something slick (would be depressing if people don't
use R simply because the Splus manual looks better ...)

I don't want to enforce the logo ... it's just that pages look better
with something on it and I think Tanja did a nice job ... if soembody
send's a better one, I've just to replace one jpg file.

Ok, so much for now.


                        Friedrich  Leisch                            =20
Institut f=FCr Statistik                      Tel: (+43 1) 58801 4541
Technische Universit=E4t Wien                 Fax: (+43 1)  504 14 98
Wiedner Hauptstra=DFe 8-10/1071
A-1040 Wien, Austria   
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