[R] how to use "..."

Steve Taylor steve.taylor at aut.ac.nz
Sun Jan 20 20:56:15 CET 2013

> On 13-01-20 2:28 PM, Steve Taylor wrote:
> >> From: Duncan Murdoch
> >> Maybe we just need a manual on how to use the existing help system.  But
> >> I suspect people who won't read the existing manuals won't read that
> >> one, either.
> >
> > Duncan, I assume you're being facetious.  Every R user soon learns to use
> help() and help.search() or their equivalents.  We don't need a manual to teach
> that.
> There are other parts of the help system that you don't appear to know
> about.  Run help.start() for the main index page.  help() is kind of a
> shortcut to the section labelled "Packages".  help.search() gets you to
> "Search Engine & Keywords".  There are 15 other headings to explore as well.

I know about them even tho I didn't mention them.
> >
> >>> Rolf Turner wrote:
> >>>> The "help" facility is applicable to functions and data sets.  It is not
> >>>> designed
> >>>> or intended to give "help" with respect to R syntax (with the exception of
> >>>> the basic syntax of the operators --- unary and binary --- and the
> >>>> associated
> >>>> rules of precedence).
> >
> > Then why are there help pages ?":::", ?"for", ?"NA_character_", ?".C" and ?"??"
> but not ?"..." ?!
> Those are all functions or other objects, while ... is not.  There are
> examples of topic aliases that are not objects, e.g. ?Syntax, but mostly
> Rolf is right.  Most discussion of the syntax is in the manuals.
Nevertheless, help("...") is a reasonable thing for a user to do and expect some help.

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