html help

Fox, Gordon gfox at
Thu Dec 18 21:44:40 CET 2003

Hmm, on my installation evaluating this code locks Xemacs up until I kill
the R process.


On Wed, 2003-12-17 at 23:59, Rich Heiberger wrote: 

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

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.



Dr. Gordon A. Fox       Voice: (813)974-7352       Fax: (813)974-3263

Dept. of Biology ((for US mail:)SCA 110) ((for FedEx etc:)BSF 156)

Univ. of South Florida                 4202 E. Fowler Ave.

Tampa, FL 33620, USA         

More information about the ESS-help mailing list