[R] Cannot activate chm help in R 2.10

Duncan Murdoch murdoch at stats.uwo.ca
Wed Oct 28 11:36:28 CET 2009

On 27/10/2009 10:18 PM, Charles Annis, P.E. wrote:
> R-insiders:
> While trying to be clever I inserted these lines in ..\Rprofile.site (which
> works in R2.9.2 and earlier)
> # to prefer Compiled HTML help
>   options(chmhelp=TRUE)
> but upon re-starting R2.10.0 I learned that
> chmhelp = TRUE is no longer supported: use help_type ="text"
> I'm sure this was explained elsewhere but I missed it. Could someone explain
> why the compiled html help is no longer supported?

Several reasons.  The two that convinced me are:

   - it is static-only.  There's no possibility of dynamic pages, as the 
other formats support.

   - it requires tools that are not ours, and that we can't distribute.

There are also security concerns with the format.

Duncan Murdoch

> Thanks.
> Charles Annis, P.E.
> Charles.Annis at StatisticalEngineering.com
> phone: 561-352-9699
> eFax:  614-455-3265
> http://www.StatisticalEngineering.com
> -----Original Message-----
> From: r-help-bounces at r-project.org [mailto:r-help-bounces at r-project.org] On
> Behalf Of Ulrike Groemping
> Sent: Tuesday, October 27, 2009 4:17 PM
> To: r-help at r-project.org
> Subject: Re: [R] Cannot activate chm help in R 2.10
> Uwe Ligges-3 wrote:
>> Duncan Murdoch wrote:
>>> On 10/27/2009 10:56 AM, Ulrike Groemping wrote:
>>>> Duncan Murdoch-2 wrote:
>>>>> Ulrike Groemping wrote:
>>>>> ...
>>>>>> My system is Windows XP, German locale computer. On installation, I
>>>>>> was
>>>>>> asked to decide for text or html help and chose html (there was no 
>>>>>> radio
>>>>>> button for chm help).  
>>>>> ...
>>>>> If you set
>>>>> options(help_type="html")
>>>>> you'll get HTML help with links in your default browser.
>>>>> Duncan Murdoch
>>>> Thank you very much, this works. But I am very surprised that it is 
>>>> not the
>>>> default. Having chosen html help during installation, I would have 
>>>> expected
>>>> this to be active without having to change an option.
>>> Yes, it should have been, but there was a bug in the installer, and the 
>>> preference indicated there was ignored. This is why it's useful to have 
>>> people doing testing during the beta test period:  things like this are 
>>> easy to fix, but they need to be noticed first.
>>> Duncan Murdoch
>> And let me add:
>> The whole statistics department has been on two pre-release versions 
>> (beta and release-candidate) and nobody reported any error. The 
>> installer problem has not been found because I installed from sources 
>> anyway. This shows it makes sense to have more than just 400+ beta 
>> testers. ;-)
>> Uwe
> Two more comments: For those of us who have already installed the version
> with this installer bug: If you do not want to change the option each time
> you call R, it is easy to change it permanently in the file
> R_HOME/etc/Rprofile.site (where R_HOME stands for the directory in which
> your R is installed, e.g. c:\programs\r\r-2.10.0).  
> Regarding beta testing (yes, I admit, I usually leave that to others, and am
> nevertheless looking for beta testers of my package RcmdrPlugin.DoE), maybe
> it would be time for an experimental design that specifies characteristics
> of beta testers to ensure some diversity there, perhaps package DoE.base or
> FrF2 could help there (half-, but only half-jokingly) ;-) 
> Regards, Ulrike

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