[R-pkg-devel] The Help (e.g. links) is not working for my packages

David.Kaethner at dlr.de David.Kaethner at dlr.de
Mon Aug 7 09:41:21 CEST 2017


I am hoping to post to the right mailing list, if not apologies!

I have recently written my first couple packages, relying on devtools and roxygen. Everything is done in RStudio (details regarding the setup: see end of text).

But the help is not working! Specifically:

On Windows 7:

* functions: I cannot click the links in the 'help'-panel. Or at least nothing happens when I click them.

* DESCRIPTION: If I build the package locally, it has the same issues as the packages. If I install the packages from Github (devtools::install_github) or from a network drive, it works.

* The "my_package::my_function" syntax throws an error. Once I enter 'my_package::' and click TAB, the following error appears in the console: "Error in gzfile(file, "rb") : cannot open the connection"

* "?my_package::my_function" brings me to the function overview page for the package, but not to the help page for the my_function()

* the link itself (on the function overview page) looks inocuous:

I would love to do a Traceback on this, but I do not know how, since it only happens when hitting TAB. I have done a Traceback for "?my_package::my_function", it just returns the path to where the help should be, like "D:/Home/R/Rpackages/my_package/help/my_function".

On MacOS Sierra:

* DESCRIPTION can always be opened, no matter how the package is installed

* when clicking on functions in the help panel, the known error appears (as text in the help panel): "Error in gzfile(file, "rb") : cannot open the connection"

It gets much weirder: When installing the package for the very first time, it seems to work! But after that it quits working, even not when I delete the package, re-install R, re-install RStudio, and create the package from scratch.

I really wish I was kidding with all of this. I have tried every debugging-idea that came to my mind, including (but not limited to):

* the .Rd-files are generated, they definitely are not missing

* taking an auto-generated DESCRIPTION file

* removing every function file save for a test file

* copying content from a function file into the auto-generated "hello.R" file

* changing the encoding from UTF-8 to WINDOWS-1252

* as mentioned, trying everying both on Windows and MacOS, and trying different ways of installation

* as mentioned, re-installing both R and RStudio

I would enormously appreciate it if anyone has an idea how to get a handle on this, any suggestions are welcome!



My setup:

* Windows 7 / MacOS Sierra

* R 3.4.1

* RStudio 1.0.153

* devtools 1.13.3

* roxygen2 6.0.1

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