[R] R help search engine/ windows crashable

S.McClatchie s.mcclatchie at niwa.cri.nz
Tue Mar 5 02:21:23 CET 2002

System info:
R Version 1.4.1  (2002-01-30) on Windows 2000
ESS v. 5.1.20 using emacs ver. 20.1.1



Over the last several versions of R, I have noticed that the HTML for R 
help search engine brought up by help.start() under ESS tends to crash 
on my machine periodically.  By this I mean the web browser exits. 

Test case:

For example, from the R buffer in ESS I typed help.start() and the 
browser loads the help page. I went to the search engine and keywords 
link to get the search box. All 3 options for keyword, object  names, help 
page titles were ticked. I typed in 'plot.options' and clicked on search. 
When nothing was found, I modified my search to 'plot', but this time hit 
return instead of clicking on the search button (this seems natural 
because the previous entry option now covers the search button unless 
you move the mouse). Windows returned an error message 
"IEXPLORE.exe has generated errors and will be closed by windows. 
You will need to restart the program". 
So I restarted and tried again with this sequence: typed 'spearman' in 
search box, hit submit, all is OK, typed 'correlation', hit return, all is ok, 
typed 'plot options', and the previous searches with 'plot' in them came 
up. If I now hit return the error is generated again.

Conclusion -- I think there is a problem with interaction of the previously 
searched word list box and the use of return as opposed to the submit 
button for repeat searching. 

I expect this problem will not occur on my linux machine at home, but is a 
windows yukkie.

Am I wrong? BTW, I'm not criticising the help system -- it's fantastic, and 
I would switch my work machine to linux if my lab was not wedded to 


Sam McClatchie, 
Research scientist (fisheries acoustics))))))))))

NIWA (National Institute of Water & Atmospheric Research Ltd)
Postal address: PO Box 14 901, Kilbirnie, Wellington, New Zealand. 

Street address: 301 Evans Bay Parade, Greta Point, 6003 Wellington, New Zealand.

Email: s.mcclatchie at niwa.cri.nz, 
phone 64-04-386-0574, FAX: 64-4-386 0574. 

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