[R] how to use "..."

Duncan Murdoch murdoch.duncan at gmail.com
Sun Jan 20 23:06:43 CET 2013

On 13-01-20 2:56 PM, Steve Taylor wrote:
>> 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.

I agree it should do something.  I think I'll have it lead to ?Reserved, 
and add pointers to the manuals from there.  I don't think the help() 
pages are right for it.

Duncan Murdoch

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