Re: package description

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Subject: Re: package description
From: Prof Brian Ripley (ripley@stats.ox.ac.uk)
Date: Tue 02 Nov 1999 - 02:44:37 EST


Message-Id: <199911011644.QAA20354@toucan.stats.ox.ac.uk>

> Date: Mon, 01 Nov 1999 11:26:13 -0500
> From: Paul Gilbert <pgilbert@bank-banque-canada.ca>
> To: r-devel <r-devel@stat.math.ethz.ch>
> Subject: package description
>
> It would be nice in the building of help for packages if there were some
> mechanism to provide a few paragraphs of general description for the
> package. (If this is already there I've missed it.) In the html help it
> would be possible to do this by looking for some special file (e.g.
> "General_Description") in the man directory and putting a link to that
> at the top of 00Index.html, but I don't now if this approach would work
> with other help formats.

It will not, not even for the html format as 00Index.html is
auto-generated by R INSTALL. There is nothing to prevent there being a
Rd file containing the description and some suitable \name or \alias
(package:foo, for example). This could be formalized, for example by a
special name (`Description') being placed first in the list.

That is my understanding of the purpose of library(help=foo) in the S
world, but it seems to be used rarely within R packages. That is, the
file INDEX could contain more than just the list of public functions.

-- 
Brian D. Ripley,                  ripley@stats.ox.ac.uk
Professor of Applied Statistics,  http://www.stats.ox.ac.uk/~ripley/
University of Oxford,             Tel:  +44 1865 272861 (self)
1 South Parks Road,                     +44 1865 272860 (secr)
Oxford OX1 3TG, UK                Fax:  +44 1865 272595

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