[R] help(package)->sink()

Duncan Murdoch murdoch at stats.uwo.ca
Sat Jul 24 19:57:58 CEST 2004

On Sat, 24 Jul 2004 10:06:02 -0700, Spencer Graves
<spencer.graves at pdf.com> wrote:

>      I wanted to direct packageInfo to a file, so I could add comments, 
>e.g., in MS Word.  The following command stored the desired information 
>in an object: 
>      mclustInfo <- help(package="mclust")
>      Then "mclustInfo" displays it on my screen.  To direct it to a 
>file, I tried the following: 
>      sink("mclust.txt")
>      mclustInfo
>      sink()
>      This sequence created an empty file "mclust.txt", while displaying 
>mclustInfo on my screen.  After a few more failed attempts, I gave up 
>trying to be clever and copied the text from the screen into Word. 
>      Is this a bug, that sink does not capture the output of objects of 
>class packageInfo? 

I don't think so.  The print method for that class calls other code to
display it; it doesn't go through the regular "display to console"
route.  Instead, it writes the help page to a file, then calls

It's possible that on some systems file.show would just dump the file
to the console, but that's not what happens on Windows, for example.

Duncan Murdoch

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