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

Sergei Zuyev sergei at stams.strath.ac.uk
Mon Dec 13 13:59:33 CET 2004

On Friday 10th of December 2004 15:16, Uwe Ligges wrote:
> 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

Thanks, Uwe, for your response!
a) I'll try to convince our IT people to upgrade, but they are reluctant to do 
that often. I must confess, I undestand them - so many times I had to 
re-compile and re-install packages after R-upgrades... This indeed might 
create a havoc for other users in the middle of the teaching term.

b) This indeed opens an html help but does not fix the problem - my package is 
not showing up in the help. This could be expected since the index file is 
unchanged from its canonical state.

Any more ideas, please?
                           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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