[R] R help search engine/ windows crashable

Prof Brian D Ripley ripley at stats.ox.ac.uk
Tue Mar 5 08:50:42 CET 2002

On Tue, 5 Mar 2002, S.McClatchie wrote:

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

And your browser was?  (I hope that was emacs 21.1.1, BTW.)

You do have a choice of browser under Windows, so try another one (or try
upgrading it).

For example, Windows XP does not do this with IE6, and nor does Netscape
6.2.1 on Windows 2000.  I haven't tested Opera 6, but Opera 5.12 was fine.

> Colleagues
> Problem:
> 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
> windows.

Yes, the browser crashed so it's a browser bug.  You should be reporting it
to Microsoft, not R-help.

Linux browsers are prone to crashing too, in my experience far more often
than Windows ones (not surprising given the market shares and hence
development efforts).

Brian D. Ripley,                  ripley at stats.ox.ac.uk
Professor of Applied Statistics,  http://www.stats.ox.ac.uk/~ripley/
University of Oxford,             Tel:  +44 1865 272861 (self)
1 South Parks Road,                     +44 1865 272860 (secr)
Oxford OX1 3TG, UK                Fax:  +44 1865 272595

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