[ESS] the help system

Kasper Daniel Hansen khansen at stat.berkeley.edu
Mon Feb 16 18:46:06 CET 2009

I am using more and more packages that defines generics for basic  
functions. Essentially this means that something like


gets picked up by "base" and another package (in this case  
Biostrings). In this case R (from a terminal) usually asks whether I  
want base:::substr or Biostrings:::substr, through a simple menu. I  
have disabled the tcltk version of the menu by
   options(menu.graphics = FALSE)
in my .Rprofile

Now for the ESS question. When I access the help through ESS (as I  
almost always do), the help system/ESS seems to get very confused by  
the menu selection. The first time I type help(substr) it looks as if  
everything hangs. The second time it opens up the menu selection in a  
separate buffer, but I cannot figure out how to make a selection. In  
the end I end up doing help(substr, package = THE_PACKAGE_I_WANT)  
which displays the help page inside the inferior R process and not in  
a separate buffer.

This is becoming more and more of a problem as more and more functions  
are present in several packages - usually because they set up a  
generic for a standard base R function.

It would be amazing if someone could consider taking a look at this.  
Or tell me that I really need to start enjoying tcltk menus.

A related issue is that class?SOME_CLASS gets displayed in the  
inferior R process as well.


More information about the ESS-help mailing list