[ESS] Problem with (setq ess-help-own-frame t) : emacs answers that "ess--switch-to-help-buffer: Window is dedicated to `*help[R](geom_line)*'

Deepayan Sarkar deep@y@n@@@rk@r @end|ng |rom gm@||@com
Mon Jan 26 07:32:20 CET 2015

On Sun, Jan 25, 2015 at 3:45 PM, Emmanuel Charpentier
<emm.charpentier using free.fr> wrote:
> Dear list,
> I wanted to have a different frame for each request to R help. so i used
> (setq ess-help-own-frame t) in my .emacs.

I think it's important to understand what you want here. Do you mean
different frame or different buffer or different window?

According to [1], a frame is what the rest of the world calls a
window, and a window is what you get by "splitting" a window (e.g.,
C-x 2, File => New Window Below).

[1] http://www.gnu.org/software/emacs/manual/html_node/emacs/Frames.html

I think the default behaviour of ESS is to have a different buffer for
each help request, which is probably exactly what you want. The
question is, where should it be displayed? ESS seems to use the last
help window used if any, and creates a new one if none exists.

When you say you want  a new frame for it, you mean that a new window
(in the non-Emacs sense) should be created. Is that really what you


> I have a problem : the first call ("?geom_line" at the R prompt) works
> fine, but a second call ("?geom_linerange" at the R prompt) ends up in
> error with "ess--switch-to-help-buffer: Window is dedicated to
> `*help[R](geom_line)*' in the minibuffer (retrieved form the *Messages*
> buffer).
> (setq ess-help-own-frame 'one) works as advertised. The code (in
> ess-help.el) is not specially enlightening : it uses *ONE* frame,
> defined in (defvar ess-help-frame ...). So it appears that the code *is*
> intended to display exactly *one* help page at a time, with two
> variants :
>         - switching to the last requested help page when ess-help_own-frame is
> 'one
>         - raising an error when ess-help-own-frame is t and the ess-help-frame
> still exists.
> Do you see a way to effect what I *thought* was advertised : at each
> call to the R help system, open (if necessary) a new frame to display
> the relevant help page ?
> Sincerely,
>                                         Emmanuel Charpentier
> PS : I'd appreciate being CC'd of answers (including "Go to hell if
> necessary) : I do not follow ess-help on a regular basis. (Yes, I
> should... but my days are still 24 hours long, despite my wishes...).
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> ESS-help using r-project.org mailing list
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