[Rd] [R] problem with internal functions in Windows

Duncan Murdoch murdoch at stats.uwo.ca
Mon Jul 6 15:30:46 CEST 2009

On 7/6/2009 8:23 AM, Antonio.Gasparrini at lshtm.ac.uk wrote:
> I kept those functions as internal because users don't need to call them 
> directly to use all the functionalities of the package (they are called 
> by other functions).
> Nonetheless, I want to make them available and documented because they 
> can give an idea about the process to specify the other functions.
> The package is called 'dlnm' (available in the CRAN), the two internal 
> functions are 'mkbasis' ans 'mklagbasis', included as aliases in 
> 'dlnm-internal.Rd'.
> But the link ?mkbasis typed in R returns "The page cannot be displayed".
> I tried in 3 different machines (with both Vista and XP, R version 
> 2.9.1), but I got the same result.
> The strange thing is that everything is working when, instead than the 
> CRAN version, I install the .zip file with he binaries I create with my 
> machine.

I have no problem with ?mkbasis in the text or HTML display, but it 
fails in the CHM help display.  When I look at the .chm file on CRAN, I 
don't see the dlnm-internals topic.  I'll see if I can spot what's going 

Duncan Murdoch

> I hope this helps.
> Antonio Gasparrini
>  >>> Duncan Murdoch <murdoch at stats.uwo.ca> 06/07/2009 12:13 >>>
> This is more of an r-devel topic, so I've sent my reply there.
> On 06/07/2009 6:50 AM, Antonio.Gasparrini at lshtm.ac.uk wrote:
>  > Dear R users,
>  > 
>  > I included 2 internal functions in the package 'dlnm', called 
> 'mkbasis' and 'mklagbasis'.
>  > Despite they are not meant to be called by the users, I included them 
> in the namespace in order to make them available, keeping the process 
> more transparent and giving the opportunity to change or improve them.
> The usual reason to make something an internal function is so that you
> feel no obligation to maintain the interface.  If it is in the
> NAMESPACE, you should feel guilty whenever you make incompatible changes.
> Another reason to keep them internal is that they don't really fit with
> the goals of your package:  they are just a distraction.  You don't want
> people to use your package just for those things.  (This is actually the
> same reason as the first: the reason you don't want your package to be
> used for some little utility function is that you would drop it if it
> showed up in a base package.)
> So if you think those functions are useful and on target, and you don't
> foresee changing them, then exporting them is reasonable.
>  > I included an help page 'dlnm-internal.Rd' to document them, and some 
> examples in a package vignette I want to add.
>  > The problem is that the link to this help page doesn't work in the 
> version installed by the CRAN (eg. try ?mkbasis).
>  > I checked the help pages for internal functions in other packages: 
> some of them work (e.g. ?geepack::anova.geeglm), others don't (e.g. 
> ?gam::.First.lib).
>  > 
>  > Any suggestions?
> Did you set aliases in the help pages?  Those are what help uses to find
> the page.
> And what OS and R version are you using?  ?gam::.First.lib works for me
> (on Windows, with 2.9.0 or 2.9.1 patched).
> Duncan Murdoch

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