[Rd] Package overview document?

Prof Brian D Ripley ripley@stats.ox.ac.uk
Sun, 31 Dec 2000 14:11:47 +0000 (GMT Standard Time)

On Sun, 31 Dec 2000, Duncan Murdoch wrote:

> I'm not sure if this is a devel or help question.

Devel, I think.

> I'd like to write an overview of a package, and have it show up when
> someone types
>  library(help=mypackage)
> or
>  help(package=mypackage)
> or even better, 
>  ?mypackage
> Right now, the first two give me a copy of the INDEX file; what I'd
> like to see is a longer description.  Is it reasonable to write such a
> description into the INDEX file?  Is there some other file where I can

That's what a lot of other packages do, e.g. boot.

> put it, so that it will show up when someone asks about my package?

Not if they ask the first two ways.

> What about the latter version?  Wouldn't it be a nice improvement if
> that were possible, too?

It is possible, but you need to watch namespace issues.  For example,
package sm has a file sm.Rd that gives an overview: you need it loaded
for that to work via ?sm but help(sm, package="sm") works always
(if sm is installed).

The problem is ensuring that you have a non-clashing name. dse1 has
00General.Description which seems to me to be very likely to clash.

Brian D. Ripley,                  ripley@stats.ox.ac.uk
Professor of Applied Statistics,  http://www.stats.ox.ac.uk/~ripley/
University of Oxford,             Tel:  +44 1865 272861 (self)
1 South Parks Road,                     +44 1865 272860 (secr)
Oxford OX1 3TG, UK                Fax:  +44 1865 272595

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