R-beta: pager/more

Peter Dalgaard BSA p.dalgaard at biostat.ku.dk
Fri Apr 24 10:06:08 CEST 1998

Jim Lindsey <jlindsey at luc.ac.be> writes:

> Since I have installed Red Hat 5 (R0.61.2), the help facility does not
> work perfectly. I can no longer scroll back with b. It just beeps.
> However, more, in an xterm, does scroll back with b as it should. All
> other character instructions seem to work correctly in R help. Any
> ideas please?
>   Jim

I don't think that worked before either, Jim...

This is an old problem, with two parts to it. 

#1: "more" cannot go back on stdin, try "more < file" and you'll see.

#2: "more" will process stdin after any command-line arguments

Item #2 had untoward consequences if the pager got invoked via "R <
something". "more" would eat the rest of the input to R (except for
the bits that were already buffered, so you'd only see it on large
source files)! So the pager was setup to do "more < file". In
particular, it broke "make tests".

What I normally do is to run R in an xterm with a scrollbar and use
that to go back. Alternatively, you can set PAGER=less, which *can* go
back on stdin but has this annoying screen-switch effect where the
information disappears just as you want to use it... Or you can dump
the "<" from $RHOME/cmd/pager, and suffer the consequences.

   O__  ---- Peter Dalgaard             Blegdamsvej 3  
  c/ /'_ --- Dept. of Biostatistics     2200 Cph. N   
 (*) \(*) -- University of Copenhagen   Denmark      Ph: (+45) 35327918
~~~~~~~~~~ - (p.dalgaard at biostat.ku.dk)             FAX: (+45) 35327907

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