[R] Help on getting help from manuals

Jim Lemon jim at bitwrit.com.au
Sat Mar 13 09:59:43 CET 2010

On 03/12/2010 08:41 PM, ManInMoon wrote:
> Hi,
> A number of people have suggested "I read the manuals"...
> Could someone help me by telling me where the primary start point is please?
> For example, I am interested in writing functions with variable number of
> arguments - where should I start to look?
> "An introduction to R" only show a brief example - with no pointer to where
> to find further data.
> I can't do ?xxx from R console in most cases - as I don't know what the
> function name is that I am looking for!!!
> People have helped me find "substitute" to get some metadata out - BUT how
> could I have found that without guidance from nice people in Nabble?
> Any help on this very much appreciated.
Hi ManInMoon,
The terminology problem is a big one for many people. Many of us muddle 
along for years with the idea that the numbers in parentheses or square 
brackets or whatever after the variable name are "indices". We start 
using R and have to learn about the "extraction operator". Then we find 
out that there is more than one sort of extraction operator. Then we 
find out that these operators allow absolutely forbidden things like 
negative values. Sometimes.

The terminology problem can often be solved on Jon Baron's search 
engine, as it searches full text, not just keywords. Run a few of the 
terms familiar to you into it, and you will find that the most amazing 
things appear.


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