[R] Html help

Duncan Murdoch murdoch.duncan at gmail.com
Mon Jun 14 18:13:57 CEST 2010

Murray Jorgensen wrote:
> I have just installed R 2.11.1 on my XP laptop.
> I like html help for browsing but text help for on-the-fly look-ups. I 
> was a bit surprised when I was asked to choose between them during the 
> installation. I chose text, thinking I could fix the html help later, 
> which is what I am trying to do now.
> Now when I ask for html help my browser goes to
> 'http://-ip-number-/doc/html/index.html'
> instead of where I want on my computer:
> C:\apps\R\R-2.11.1\doc\html\index.html
> Now I can go where I want manually but then the package list on
> C:\apps\R\R-2.11.1\doc\html\packages.html
> does not include all the packages that I have installed and linked. I 
> don't want to read my html help from the web because sometimes I am 
> off-line or on a slow connection.
> How do I go about getting a local set of html help files?

Since 2.10.0, HTML help is generated on demand.  It doesn't go off your 
local computer, it works locally.  This saves a bit of space (the HTML 
is generated from the same source as the text is generated from), but 
the main point is that it allows help pages to contain dynamic content.  
For example, Romain Francois posted some demo code a while ago to allow 
the display of graphics generated by R within help pages.  
(Unfortunately it depended on a particular browser feature not supported 
by Internet Explorer, so I'm going to need to put together something 
less elegant, but that's life.)

Duncan Murdoch

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