[R] Rd files with unknown encoding?

Spencer Graves spencer.graves at pdf.com
Sun Dec 16 02:29:57 CET 2007

Dear Prof. Ripley: 

      Thanks very much.  I did as you suggested, which I'll outline here 
to make it easier for anyone else who might have a similar problem: 

           * Read the offending *.Rd file in R using 'readLines' 

           * Applied 'iconv' to the character vector, following the last 
example in the help file.  This translated all offending characters into 
a multi-character sequence starting with '<'. 

           * Used 'regexpr' to find all occurrences of '<'. 

      The latter identified other uses of '<' but produced a 
sufficiently short list that I was able to find the problems fairly 

      Thanks again.
      Spencer Graves   
p.s.  And in the future, I will refer 'Rd' questions to 'R-devel', per 
your suggestion. 

Prof Brian Ripley wrote:
> On Wed, 12 Dec 2007, Spencer Graves wrote:
>>      How can I identify the problem generating a warning in R CMD check
>> for "Rd files with unknown encoding"?
>>      Google identified an email from John Fox with a reply from Brian
>> Ripley about this last 12 Jun 2007.
> But not on this list:
> https://stat.ethz.ch/pipermail/r-devel/2007-June/046055.html
> R-devel would have been more appropriate for this too.
>>  This suggests that I may have accidentally entered some possibly 
>> non-printing character into the offending Rd file.  The message tells me 
>> which file, but I don't know which lines in the file.  Is there some way 
>> of finding the offending character(s) without laboriously running R CMD 
>> check after deleting different portions of the file until I isolate the 
>> problem?
> I did say so in that thread:
> https://stat.ethz.ch/pipermail/r-devel/2007-June/046061.html
> You can do much the same in R via iconv("", "C", sub="byte"), provided you 
> can read the file in (it may not be representable in your current 
> locale, but you could run R in a Latin-1 locale, if your OS has one).

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