[R-SIG-Mac] Can't get help.start() to work --- update.

Duncan Murdoch murdoch at stats.uwo.ca
Thu Oct 29 11:29:27 CET 2009

On 29/10/2009 1:07 AM, Rolf Turner wrote:
> After looking at the help for tools::startDynamicHelp and groping
> around considerably, I had a look at the Firefox Preferences.
> Going to Advanced --> Network --> Configure how Firefox connects
> to the the Internet (Settings), I found stuff about ``Proxies''.
> (Dunno what they are, but the word ``proxy'' came up in the error
> message from Firefox.)
> The existing setting was ``Manual proxy configuration''.  I changed
> to ``No proxy'' (hammer and hope; no idea what I'm doing) and
> help.start() took effect without any error messages appearing
> from Firefox.
> But I still got help in the command window.  Then I set
> 	options(help_type="html")
> and it all worked.
> I shall put options(help_type="html") into my .Rprofile, and
> then help.start() should work automatically.  Said he optimistically.
> What trouble am I leaving myself open to by setting ``No proxy'', but?

You may find that you can't connect to websites outside of your local 
network.  Proxies are used to control connections in and out of 
networks.  Without the proxy you might be blocked; with it, some sites 
will be blocked, and others will be redirected through some server that 
lets them out.  It's also possible there will be no trouble, because the 
same scheme is sometimes used without the external blocking, but then 
usually the user of the system can't turn it on and off.

You should be able to program the proxy to be selective, and let Firefox 
connect to R directly but still redirect external connections to other 
sites, but you'll need to take some action to do it.

Duncan Murdoch

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