[Rd] problem with help.start() in R (PR#1156)

Kurt Hornik Kurt.Hornik@ci.tuwien.ac.at
Wed, 31 Oct 2001 20:06:07 +0100

>>>>> Dinh-Tuan Pham writes:

> Prof Brian Ripley writes:
>> On Wed, 31 Oct 2001 Dinh-Tuan.Pham@imag.fr wrote:
>> >        The function help.start() assume that the brower is netscape
>> > which is no longer the dominant brower in used. I am using now opera
>> On what operating system is this?  On Unix/Linux you should be using
>> options(browser="opera").  On Windows/Mac you can't set the browser
>> anyway.

> on Linux, actually

>> > help.start(browser="opera"), but it is not convenience: I would like
>> > to be able to set the default brwsernone for all. But the real bug is
>> > that even after launching help.start(browser="opera"), other help
>> > commands, help(help), say, still send the "help page" to netscape. Here
>> > is what I get
>> >
>> > > help.start(browser="opera")
>> > If opera  is already running,   it is *not* restarted,
>> >  and you must switch to its window.
>> > Otherwise, be patient..
>> > > help(help)
>> > help() for help  is shown in browser netscape ...
>> > Use      help( help , htmlhelp=FALSE)
>> > or       options(htmlhelp = FALSE)
>> > to revert.
>> > > sh: netscape: command not found
>> >
>> > Please correct this bug.
>> I don't think it is a bug in R but I have expanded the documentation.
>> Please do use the bug.report() function, as critical information is
>> missing from this report.

> I am sorry not having looked carefully on the documentation. But the
> first thing I do is to launch help.start() and be stuck with an
> inexistent browser. I have imagined that help.start(browser="opera")
> would set the browser to opera, but I am wrong and the browser must be
> set by options(browser="opera"), a feature which I am not aware of.
> Nevertheless, I find this rather confusing for a new user: if
> options(browser="opera") should always be used to set the browser,
> then the argument browser="opera" in help.start would never be needed.

The documentation issue may be unfortunate, but there is really no point
unless we find browsers other than Netscape which can be controlled
remotely.  I have been raising this issue a couple of times, last time
about three months ago or so.  Mozilla then claimed to support -remote
as Netscape does but really did not.  Konqueror does not allow being
sent URLs remotely, and neither does gnome-help-browser.  Not sure about
Opera ... do you have more info?

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