[R] HTML help pages

Damon Wischik djw1005 at cam.ac.uk
Tue Jan 27 15:33:08 CET 2004

On Tue, 27 Jan 2004, Frank E Harrell Jr wrote:
> I've always wondered whether there is a
> way to implement this without java since the java approach has caused so
> many problems for users and it seems to entail some overhead.

On my own pages, I've used Javascript for search rather than Java. You can
see how it works at
The idea is to embed all of the index into the html page in XML-like
markup, and to have Javascript trawl through this list. Page download time
should be much the same (with the current R solution, the index file has
to be downloaded; with the Javascript, the index is downloaded as part of
the search page.) Searching will be a bit slower; whether that is
acceptable depends on the size of the index.

I'm glad to say I've finally got the searching to work in Mozilla Firebird
0.7. I think the problem is to do with this:
* Mozilla Firebird 0.7 requires Java 1.4 or later
* Java 1.4 from Sun does not properly support the Applet tag.

The solution (really a dirty non-standard hack), according to the Sun
documentation, is to use code like the following: 

<embed type="application/x-java-applet"
       width="0" height="0"

instead of the current

    height=0 >
    <param name="INDEXFILE" value="index.txt">

The official W3C position is that APPLET is deprecated in favour of
OBJECT, and EMBED is not even mentioned.


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