[Rd] Documentation suggestion!

Prof Brian Ripley Prof Brian Ripley <ripley@stats.ox.ac.uk>
Tue, 13 Feb 2001 11:35:53 +0000 (GMT)

> From: "Yves Gauvreau" <cyg@sympatico.ca>
> Date: Tue, 13 Feb 2001 06:06:40 -0500

> Could I suggest that the documentation of "locator" and "identify" be
> modified so that they refer to each other 

That's easy, and done now.

> and that the "graphic" keyword be
> added to "identify". If you think it's a good idea of course, I would even
> volunteer to do it if you can point me to the procedure. (What file(s) would
> have to be modified beside Rd files if any and what do I do with them
> afterward.)

There is no `graphic' keyword.  locator and identify have keyword
`iplot', `Interacting with Plots'.  See below.

> I'm making this suggestion because I had a hard time locating them
> especially "identify". I vaguely recalled the functionality was implemented
> but I had forgotten the function names. I got to "locator" using
> help.search("graphic") and as for "identify" I had to remember the name
> which I finally did.

It took `graphic' from the title for locator, not the keyword.

> While writing this I took a look at some .Rd files, at keywords and at
> keywords.db which are located in D:\R-1.2.0\doc of the main *nix source and

[Actually, there is only one set of sources: it is the Windows source too.]

> I wonder if there is any kind of information on how the help system works?

Really there is not just one help system, but several.  The `keywords'
are a misnomer carried over from S3:  they are in fact categories used
by the HTML search system, and by help.search.  On Windows the CHTML
and WinHelp help systems have full-text-search by default, and we are
looking at ways of providing FTS and approximate matching on other platforms.

I think had you done a search under HTML help, it would have been more
obvious from the categories presented to you.  I would also commend
CHTML full-text searches to you.

We are aware that the help system could be improved, and I have already
suggested real keywords for a future version.

Another issue that is just as important is the contents of the help.  I
realised recently that the documentation for many of the basic graphics
operations is incomplete (they accept many more forms of input via
xy.coords, NAs can be used to break lines, polygons are supposed to be
automatically closed, and so on).

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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