[R] how to use "..."

David Winsemius dwinsemius at comcast.net
Mon Jan 21 00:23:51 CET 2013

On Jan 20, 2013, at 11:46 AM, Duncan Murdoch 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.


On my Mac after a very long wait it appears I get all of the functions  
in every installed package that have a three-dots argument in their  
argument list displayed in the Usage sections. That does not seem very  
"help"-ful. I tried limiting with keyword="programming", that did not  
appear effective. I wasn't able to figure out from the  
help(help.search) page what I need to do to constrict to non-Usage  
matches yet expand to items linked from the help.start() page.

If I just search with a browser for "..." in "Introduction to R" I get  
what I consider to be useful material.


>>>> 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.
> Duncan Murdoch
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David Winsemius, MD
Alameda, CA, USA

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