[Rd] RFC: What should ?foo do?

hadley wickham h.wickham at gmail.com
Fri Apr 25 16:17:09 CEST 2008

> > But that's just a problem with the current implementation.  Better
> > indexing could make full text search of all documentation practical
> > instantaneous.  This is one argument for a centralised documentation
> > web site - such indices are much easier to set up in a modern web
> > development environment.  I could imagine this being an eventual
> > feature of crantastic.org, but it requires on some tool to turn Rd
> > files into a form more easily parsed with off-the-shelf tools (ideally
> > xml).
> >
>  The search is a lot faster in 2.7.x, but is limited by disc speed (and
> hence is relatively slow on Windows -- and I have a box which has both Linux
> and Windows on, so I've tested this on identical hardware). R is a dynamic
> environment which can change libraries (and their order), add or remove
> packages ....  The text search is pretty close to instantaneous (try it a
> second time) -- the time is taken building the database for the first use.

Would it be possible to build per package help databases during the
install (or build?) process?  That way all that work could be shifted
to one a one off compilation.

>  Yes, we could do this differently, but some credit for the work already
> done would be an encouragement to continue to improve.

Sorry! Writing a good text search engine is hard and I didn't mean to
disparage the existing work of R-core.  The current system works great
for the majority of uses.



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