Re: [Rd] Package manpage DCF hooks

From: Martin Maechler <maechler_at_stat.math.ethz.ch>
Date: Wed 16 Nov 2005 - 08:42:35 GMT

>>>>> "Paul" == Paul Roebuck <roebuck@mdanderson.org> >>>>> on Tue, 15 Nov 2005 13:07:47 -0600 (CST) writes:

    Paul> On Tue, 15 Nov 2005, Martin Maechler wrote:

>> >>>>> "Paul" == Paul Roebuck <roebuck@mdanderson.org>
>> >>>>> on Mon, 14 Nov 2005 15:57:04 -0600 (CST) writes:
>>
    Paul> On Mon, 14 Nov 2005, Gabor Grothendieck wrote:

>> >> On 11/14/05, Paul Roebuck <roebuck@mdanderson.org> wrote:
>> >>
>> >> > Was looking at what was output for <pkgname>-package.Rd
>> >> > and wondered if any there was any means (via macro, etc)
>> >> > to merge some of the same information with a template
>> >> > for my package manpage? As much (all?) of the generated
>> >> > information was already provided in the DESCRIPTION, I'd
>> >> > prefer not to have to update the information in multiple
>> >> > places. I'm thinking here that I could provide a template
>> >> > file "<pkgname>-package.Rd.in" and during build, the
>> >> > DCF information could be substituted appropriately and
>> >> > "<pkgname>-package.Rd" would be output.

>> >> >
>> >> > see also:
>> >> > promptPackage method
>> >>
>> >> What I do is make my whatever-package.Rd page be
>> >> the central page where one can get a list of all
>> >> the other places one can look for info (rather than
>> >> placing the info itself there). See, for example,
>> >>
>> >> library(dyn)
>> >> package?dyn
>>
    Paul> Thanks for your reply. That gives me some additional
    Paul> ideas but still think being able to display DCF
    Paul> information and public function listing would be a nice
    Paul> thing to have. For example, 'dyn-package.Rd' repeats its
    Paul> DCF description.

>>
>> which I agree is not ideal. I agree that such information
>> should in principle reside in one place and be
>> ``auto-distributed'' to other places during package installation
>> and maybe also package load time.
>>
>> Note that packageDescription("dyn") returns an object that
>> contains (and may print if you want) the DCF information.
    Paul> I'm aware of this, having used it in various places. What
    Paul> I don't know is how to access/use it during package
    Paul> installation (if even possible). Using read.dcf and a sed
    Paul> script, I could probably manage to perform the template
    Paul> merge. But I don't know how to invoke such without adding
    Paul> a configure script (overkill for R-only packages), as
    Paul> 'install.R' is meant for something else.

>> One possibility I see would be the convention that the
>> 'generated' (text, html, tex) help files for 'package-<name>'
>> would combine both the packageDescription() and
>> the contents of <name>-package.Rd.

    Paul> Well, a system-level approach would be preferable to doing     Paul> this per-package.

Definitely, and actually I was only thinking of the former.

    Paul> R-2.3 then?

with help of contributions from smart R-devel readers/contributors that should be fairly plausible, otherwise I'm much less confident.

Martin



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