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

Uwe Ligges ligges at statistik.uni-dortmund.de
Fri Dec 10 16:16:45 CET 2004

Sergei Zuyev wrote:

> Hello,
> 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.

Two points:

a) Please upgrade, R-1.7.1 is really ancient.
b) help.start(update=FALSE) should work.

Uwe Ligges

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