# Documenting data sets

Kurt Hornik Kurt.Hornik@ci.tuwien.ac.at
Wed, 31 Mar 1999 09:11:07 +0200 (CEST)

>>>>> Prof Brian D Ripley writes:

> On 30 Mar 1999, Douglas Bates wrote:
>> Has a format for the documentation of data sets been established?  The
>> prompt function applied to a data set produces a brief outline.  I
>> notice that the data documentation in the MASS library, for example,
>> is more complete.

> That was translated from Sd. On S-PLUS there are two formats for data
> given by prompt.data.frame and prompt.default (for all
> non-functions). Over the years we have expanded the dataset
> documentation: for example I tried about a year ago to give references
> wherever possible.

prompt.data.frame() sounds like a nice idea.

In general, I think the format should be something like

\name{}
\alias{}
\title{}
\usage{data(...)}
\description{}
\format{}
\details{}
\source{}
\examples{}
\keyword{datasets}

but we should perhaps standardize the format' slot a bit more.

> It would be helpful to have more for this sort of thing in R. One
> thing I find problematic is the use of \item: I find quite often that
> the use of items (.AG or .RC) in .Sd format translates to invalid
> .Rd. There are restrictions on the use of \item (as we saw for nlm.Rd)
> that could do with being lifted. I need to give more thought to
> exactly what, though.

Give Fritz a chance to look into Doug's Perl5 module a bit more.  This,
as I have been told, will also get \enumerate{} and description lists to
work.

-k
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