[R] HTML help pages

Marc Schwartz MSchwartz at medanalytics.com
Mon Jan 26 23:37:27 CET 2004

On Mon, 2004-01-26 at 15:58, Rolf Turner wrote:
> Devin Johnson wrote:
> > I am having trouble getting the HTML help pages to work. When I try
> > the search engine I get an error on page response and nothing
> > happens. When I try to click on the listed topics nothing happens. I
> > am using both Mozilla and IE6 on XP and the same thing happens on
> > each. Is there something I'm missing?
> I have (almost exactly) the same problem.
> If I start an R session, do help.start(), and then say, e.g.
> 	?plot
> the help comes up in the Mozilla window as it should.  But if I
> attempt a search using the search engine in the window provided by
> help.start(), nothing happens.
> I don't any error from clicking on a topic, just a total lack
> of response.
> I'm using Mozilla and R 1.8.1 under Linux:
> ===+===+===+===+===+===+===+===+===+===+===+===+===+===+===+===+===+===+===
>          _                
> platform i686-pc-linux-gnu
> arch     i686             
> os       linux-gnu        
> system   i686, linux-gnu  
> status                    
> major    1                
> minor    8.1              
> year     2003             
> month    11               
> day      21               
> language R                
> ===+===+===+===+===+===+===+===+===+===+===+===+===+===+===+===+===+===+===
> I've no idea what the solution is.  This is contributed just to point
> out that the problem is not unique.

In general, one key thing to check is when you click on the link for
"Search Engine & Keywords" after the help.start() page comes up, look at
the status line in Mozilla in the lower left hand corner.

It should indicate something to the effect of "Applet SearchEngine

If you do not see this message, then the Java applet has not been
initialized and the queries from the search page will not work. It takes
both Java and JavaScript to be functioning properly for the search
applet to work. If you do not see that message, it is a good indication
that there is a problem with your Java installation, which might include
Java and/or browser version conflict issues. Be sure to check the
browser release notes and/or Java installation notes as appropriate.

It has been a while since I have used IE (or even Windows for that
matter), but I am guessing that there should be a similar indication

I am running R 1.8.1 Patched along with Firebird 0.7 and Mozilla 1.6
under Fedora Core 1 and have had no problems using the help.search()
mechanism with either browser.

FWIW, after the previously discussed issues with the installation of
Java and Mozilla, I stopped putting the oft discussed symlink to Java in
the Mozilla version specific folders (/usr/lib/mozilla-version/plugins)
and now put it in ~/.mozilla/plugins. While this makes the Java
installation user specific, I am the only user of my laptop. This does
however remove the need to redo the symlink everytime I upgrade Mozilla
and it also works for Firebird. The same goes for Flash, Helix and other


Marc Schwartz

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