[Rd] Indexing request

Duncan Murdoch murdoch.duncan at gmail.com
Fri Jan 7 11:09:47 CET 2011

On 11-01-07 12:08 AM, David Winsemius wrote:
> I just tried ?Constants at the console and was disappointed that the
> so-named base help page would not come up.
>   >  ?Constants
> No documentation for 'Constants' in specified packages and libraries:
> you could try '??Constants'
> Seems like there should have been a match. I was looking for the month
> abbreviations, failing to hit the right name 4 times and then failing
> 3 more times on variations of what I remembered to be the name of that
> page and finally ended up typing:

I do see that page as the first hit if I follow the advice and type 
??Constants, though there seems to be a problem with the OSX help system 
and that particular page.

But I agree with you, and will add Constants to the index.

For future reference:  Every help page has:

  - a name (in this case "Constants"), which is what is displayed at the 
top of the help page.  It also determines the order in which pages are 
collated into the full manual, if you build one of those.
  - a title (which is a one-line explanation of the page); here it is 
"Built-in constants".  That is shown in the results from ??Constants.
  - a number of aliases, which are indexed.  Those are the things which 
work with a single ?.  In this case they are "LETTERS", "letters", 
"month.abb", "month.name", and "pi".
  - a filename (which you'll never see), in this case it's 
src/library/base/man/Constants.Rd.  That's the file to edit to make this 

In most cases the name is repeated as an alias, but for some reason 
(flexibility?) that's not a requirement, and is not always the case, as 
here.  If I were designing the system I would say the name is 
automatically an alias, but perhaps there are cases where that would be 

I'll add it as an alias here.  I've passed on a message about the 
problem on that page, and it should eventually be fixed.

Duncan Murdoch

More information about the R-devel mailing list