[Rd] R CMD check: better diagnosis for non-ASCII characters

Martin Maechler maechler at stat.math.ethz.ch
Wed Nov 28 12:02:38 CET 2012

>>>>> Michael Friendly <friendly at yorku.ca>
>>>>>     on Tue, 27 Nov 2012 17:17:16 -0500 writes:

    > [Env: R 2.15.1, Win Xp]
    > Suggestion:
    > Could the R script that checks for non-ASCII characters in R CMD check 
    > not give either:
    > (a) a pointer to tools:::showNonASCIIfile, as in,
    > try running tools:::showNonASCIIfile("Battig.Rd")
    > or,
    > (b) perhaps more useful, the result of tools:::showNonASCIIfile(file.Rd) 
    > on the offending file(s).

    > I'm frequently bitten by this in preparing .Rd files when I copy/paste 
    > references to the
    > .Rd from a .pdf or web link.  But it is nearly impossible to see these 
    > variant characters
    > in my .Rd files with any editor.

I understand.. {though it is easier with my favorite, Emacs}

(Many people outside {North America + UK + ex-"Common Wealth"}
 encounter such problems even more frequently than you..)

    > This recent example was solved by
    >> tools:::showNonASCIIfile("Battig.Rd")
    > 47:     \emph{Journal of Experimental Psychology}, 80 (1969), pp. 1<96>46

    > but I had to find this function again via ??ascii because it is not 
    > exported.

Hmm..... at first, I started replying saying :

  As your suggestion '(b)' is probably more work, I personally
  would aim for '(a)' ... but then really the issue is that *nobody*
  should suggest functions to anyone if they are not exported and hence
  can be removed from R (or the relevant package), or get
  different semantics  "any time". 

HOWEVER, both showNonASCII() and showNonASCIIfile() 
*are* exported (from tools).
So, maybe the reason you did not find them quickly was because
"tools" is not among the default (loaded + attached) packages?

In any case, I support your suggestion (replacing ":::" by "::" !)
and would definitely volunteer to accept patches and then put such an
improvement into R.


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