Re: [Rd] R CMD check: better diagnosis for non-ASCII characters

From: Martin Maechler <maechler_at_stat.math.ethz.ch>
Date: Wed, 28 Nov 2012 12:02:38 +0100

>>>>> Michael Friendly <friendly_at_yorku.ca> >>>>> on Tue, 27 Nov 2012 17:17:16 -0500 writes:

> [Env: R 2.15.1, Win Xp]
> Suggestion:
> Could the R script that checks for non-ASCII characters in R CMD check
> not give either:
> (a) a pointer to tools:::showNonASCIIfile, as in,
> try running tools:::showNonASCIIfile("Battig.Rd")
> or,
> (b) perhaps more useful, the result of tools:::showNonASCIIfile(file.Rd)
> on the offending file(s).

> I'm frequently bitten by this in preparing .Rd files when I copy/paste
> references to the
> .Rd from a .pdf or web link. But it is nearly impossible to see these
> variant characters
> in my .Rd files with any editor.

I understand.. {though it is easier with my favorite, Emacs}

(Many people outside {North America + UK + ex-"Common Wealth"}  encounter such problems even more frequently than you..)

> This recent example was solved by
    >> tools:::showNonASCIIfile("Battig.Rd")
> 47: \emph{Journal of Experimental Psychology}, 80 (1969), pp. 1<96>46

> but I had to find this function again via ??ascii because it is not
> exported.

Hmm..... at first, I started replying saying :

  As your suggestion '(b)' is probably more work, I personally   would aim for '(a)' ... but then really the issue is that *nobody*   should suggest functions to anyone if they are not exported and hence   can be removed from R (or the relevant package), or get   different semantics "any time".

HOWEVER, both showNonASCII() and showNonASCIIfile() *are* exported (from tools).
So, maybe the reason you did not find them quickly was because "tools" is not among the default (loaded + attached) packages?

In any case, I support your suggestion (replacing ":::" by "::" !) and would definitely volunteer to accept patches and then put such an improvement into R.

Martin



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