Re: [Rd] possible help.start() bug

From: M. Edward Borasky <>
Date: Wed 06 Oct 2004 - 12:56:10 EST

On Tue, 2004-10-05 at 16:27, Michele Alzetta wrote:
> I have compiled R 2.0.0 for my gentoo desktop and have found this problem:
> help.start() will work correcly if mozilla is already started, will
> fail if mozilla is not.
> Error message:
> > help.start()
> Making links in per-session dir ...
> If /usr/bin/mozilla is already running, it is *not* restarted, and you
> must switch to its window.
> Otherwise, be patient ...
> > No running windows found
> Error: No running window found.
> Is this reproducible on other systems ?

Good news ... it isn't an R problem, it's a Gentoo problem! I reproduced it with both Firefox and Mozilla on my Gentoo x86 system with both R 1.9.1 and R 2.0.0. I'll go ahead and file the problem as a Gentoo bug, since I have an account there and I'm their resident R exponent.

Briefly, what is happening is that Gentoo replaces "/usr/bin/mozilla" and "/usr/bin/firefox" with a symbolic link to their "mozilla-launcher". The launcher is a shell script which interprets the command line and is supposed to fire up the right binary. It doesn't when called by "help.start", and I didn't spend the time to figure out why.

Meanwhile, if you know where Gentoo has hidden the Mozilla binary, or if you're willing to settle for another browser, just use the actual binary name in your "help.start(browser=<binary>)" and it will work. On my system, running Firefox 1.0 pre-release, the following command worked:

> help.start(browser="/usr/lib/MozillaFirefox/firefox-bin") mailing list Received on Wed Oct 06 13:07:51 2004

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