package description

Friedrich Leisch
Tue, 2 Nov 1999 11:04:20 +0100 (CET)

>>>>> On Mon, 1 Nov 1999 16:44:37 +0000 (GMT),
>>>>> Prof Brian Ripley (PBR) wrote:

>> Date: Mon, 01 Nov 1999 11:26:13 -0500
>> From: Paul Gilbert <>
>> To: r-devel <>
>> Subject: package description
>> It would be nice in the building of help for packages if there were some
>> mechanism to provide a few paragraphs of general description for the
>> package. (If this is already there I've missed it.) In the html help it
>> would be possible to do this by looking for some special file (e.g.
>> "General_Description") in the man directory and putting a link to that
>> at the top of 00Index.html, but I don't now if this approach would work
>> with other help formats.

PBR> It will not, not even for the html format as 00Index.html is
PBR> auto-generated by R INSTALL.  There is nothing to prevent there being a
PBR> Rd file containing the description and some suitable \name or \alias
PBR> (package:foo, for example).  This could be formalized, for example by a
PBR> special name (`Description') being placed first in the list.

PBR> That is my understanding of the purpose of library(help=foo) in the S
PBR> world, but it seems to be used rarely within R packages. That is, the
PBR> file INDEX could contain more than just the list of public functions.

we can put the contents of the DESCRIPTION file on top of 00Index.html
and cat both DESCRIPTION and 00Index for library(help=foo). Would this
do what you want?

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