[R] help output paged in separate window

Prof Brian Ripley ripley at stats.ox.ac.uk
Sun May 25 14:05:25 CEST 2003

On Sun, 25 May 2003, Frank E Harrell Jr wrote:

> On Sun, 25 May 2003 10:42:27 +0100 (BST)
> Ted.Harding at nessie.mcc.ac.uk wrote:
> > On 24-May-03 Ted Harding wrote:
> > > I use R in X windows on Linux.
> > > [...]
> > > Often, I would like to have the output from 'help' pop up in a separate
> > > window so that I can continue to work in the R window while reading the
> > > help. The "help" window could then be closed when interest in this
> > > particular help dwindles.
> > > [...]
> > 
> > Thanks to Jonathan Baron and Peter Dalgaard for private comments and help
> > on this question. Peter in particular pointed out that
> >   library(tcltk); options(pager=tkpager)
> > does the trick of detaching the pager from the R window exactly as
> > desired, with relatively small overhead (as opposed to an HTML browser
> > for 'help.start', or ESS: I put enough load on this 48MB laptop without
> > having a multimegabyte Fat Man sitting on my memory).

(BTW, if your Window Manager has a pager that will work at least as well 
as PAGER: e.g. CDE users can use dtpad and that is much lighter weight 
than the ca 2Mb needed loading up Tcl/Tk.  You can also make PAGER run 
less in another instance of your favourite terminal -- which as an 
additional instance should be cheap.)

> tkpager works well; I just wish it handled the "see also" links to other help files.
> I wish that help.start() would work with the blazing fast html browser
> dillo (Linux/Unix).  dillo is a 240K executable written in C.

Presumably it doesn't work because `dillo' is not really a conforming HTML 
browser?   What actually are the symptoms?

help.start() does work with lynx last time I looked, and lynx really is
small, You can tell essentially nothing about the resident set size of the
running executable from the file size.  From a web page on gnu.org I found

  The 'dillo' Web browser is a very fast, extremely small browser. Source 
  is less than 365 KB, and the binary is around 265 KB. It is a graphical
  browser built upon GTK+, and it renders a good subset of HTML, excluding
  frames, JavaScript, and JVM support.

Note that it requires GTK+, and that is not at all small.

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 272866 (PA)
Oxford OX1 3TG, UK                Fax:  +44 1865 272595

More information about the R-help mailing list