[R] how to use "..."
dwinsemius at comcast.net
Mon Jan 21 03:41:40 CET 2013
On Jan 20, 2013, at 3:52 PM, Duncan Murdoch wrote:
> On 13-01-20 6:23 PM, David Winsemius wrote:
>> 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
>>>>> 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
>> in every installed package that have a three-dots argument in their
>> argument list displayed in the Usage sections. That does not seem
>> "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.
> I don't think you're reading the same "help.search" help page that
> I'm reading. help.search("...") is pretty clearly documented to do
> a search for help pages with "alias", "concept" or "title" matching
> the regular expression "...", i.e. they have three characters in one
> of those. You should have found every single help page.
> I don't see anything there that suggests it does a search through
> the usage section. Are you just making stuff up?
Apparently. I was constructing a theory to explain why my search was
taking so long and returning so many pages. With your clarification
above I tried a somewhat more successful search. I clearly missed
reading the Description paragraph. New strategy:
There are only 15 or so hits (could be more or less depending on the
composition of the library packages) and among them is 'dotsMethods'.
That looks like a useful page for this topic. The number of hits
would only be half as large if the author of the "labeling" package
had not put "..." at the end of 8 of his help page titles.
Sorry for the noise.
>> If I just search with a browser for "..." in "Introduction to R" I
>> what I consider to be useful material.
> Yes. Other ways that should work, but don't:
> - looking through the index to An Introduction to R. (The index is
> very weak.) Same for the R Language Definition.
> - doing a Google search for "R ...". Stupid Google.
> Other ways that do work:
> - Reading the tables of contents for An Introduction to R, or the R
> Language Definition.
> - Reading those manuals.
> - ?"..." in R-devel, after I commit the changes I described.
> - Searching with grep through the source files named *.Rd or *.texi.
> (For this you need to have the source installed.)
> I do think the help system is too fragmented, but I also believe it
> is better than it used to be. I am sure that people would make
> false claims about it regardless of any improvements, and other
> people would complain about any changes, so it's not a priority for
> me to work on it any more.
> Duncan Murdoch
David Winsemius, MD
Alameda, CA, USA
More information about the R-help