html help

Rich Heiberger rmh at
Thu Dec 18 05:59:56 CET 2003

R help in an emacs buffer is neither feature nor bug.
It is a default value that
"Fox, Gordon" <gfox at>
doesn't want.

Therefore change it with ess-htmlhelp.el:
;; To run R from the *R* buffer and also use html help.
;; rmh 2003 Dec 17
;; Start R with M-x R, then from the *R* buffer, either
;; a. load this file
;; b. eval the next two lines with M-:
(setq inferior-ess-help-command   "help(\"%s\", htmlhelp=TRUE)\n")
(setq ess-help-kill-bogus-buffers t)

At the moment, this file must be loaded each time after the *R* buffer
is started.  It can't be run from either the .emacs or site-start.el file.

A long-term solution to make this a decision that can be made once in
.emacs requires that someone in ESS-core make the
inferior-ess-help-command line in essd-r.el depend on a variable.
Currently the value of this emacs variable is hard-wired as a local
variable inside the R-customize-alist.

Having shown how to get htmlhelp from within ESS, I don't see the need for it.
The other issue mentioned by Jonathan Baron <baron at>,
links within emacs from one *help[R](something)* buffer to another,
can be easily be accomplished within the ESS emacs help buffers.
>From within a *help[R](something)* buffer,
highlight a word, then
    C-c C-v C-y <ENTER>
The help information of the highlighted word will appear in its own
emacs buffer.


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