[R] HTML help index generation problem with R under Windows

Sergei Zuyev sergei at stams.strath.ac.uk
Thu Dec 9 18:23:08 CET 2004

I am wondering if there has been a solution to the following issue with R 
under Windows (see also thread to PR#6662 in this mailing list: 
http://tolstoy.newcastle.edu.au/R/devel/04a/0550.html )
I am using R for teaching students Statistics, so they are working with a 
university-wide installation of R. I have compiled an R-library which 
contains all the instructions and customised functions for the course and the 
students have been using it successfully under UNIX for the last 5 years. I 
keep the library in my own space which is pointed to in R_LIBS variable 
defined for the students. I myself not a sysadmin for the university network, 
so I cannot install to the system-wide library directory, but this was not a 
matter. This year, I have to (sniff-sniff) switch to Windows platform and the 
following problem arose.
The library loads fine and the text-style help files show OK, but help.start() 
reports the following error:
Error in file(f.tg, open = "w") : unable to open connection 
 In addition: Warning messages: 
 1: cannot update HTML package index in: make.packages.html(lib.loc) 
 2: cannot open file `C:\Progra~1\R\rw1071/doc/html/search/index.txt' 
The index-file is opening but does not contain links to my library.
 As far as I understand, the problem lies in the lack of write permissions for 
the system directory where R is installed. While UNIX version creates the 
html-help files in per-session way in the user's home directory, the windows 
version atempts to modify the system-wide file. 
Having possibility to display html-help would be a great benefit, as the 
students can follow the links present there which is impossible from within 
"inline" help. So my question:

Is there any work-around that problem? Would making creation of html help 
files in the users' space under Windows as under UNIX/linux resolve the 
issue? Or maybe, it's already been fixed in the recent version of R?

Thanks in advance for your help! Please, make a copy of your response to my 
email below.
                           Dr. Sergei ZUYEV
Statistics and Modelling Science dept., University of Strathclyde
    Livingston Tower, 26 Richmond str., Glasgow, G1 1XH, U.K.
     Tel.: +44 (0)141 548 3663    Fax:  +44 (0)141 552 2079
E-mail: sergei at stams.strath.ac.uk   http://www.stams.strath.ac.uk

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