Re: [R] help(package)->sink()

From: Spencer Graves <>
Date: Sun 25 Jul 2004 - 10:47:17 EST

      Thanks to Tom Lumley and Duncan Murdoch for explaining that this was a feature not a bug and to Gabor Grothendieck for providing several ways to get around the problem. (Please excuse, Gabor: I should have said I was using R 1.9.1 under Windows 2000.)

  1. I failed to make method 1 work, though I've done that kind of thing in the past, and I believe I could make it work if I had to.
  2. I found the DESCRIPTION and INDEX files. Thanks much. That not only answers this immediate question, it help me understand how R packages are structured, which will help me solve many related problems in the future.
  3. Before I sent the email, I tried dump("mclustInfo", "mclust.txt"). That worked, but I did not like the formatting. I should have reported that in my email.
  4. A request for "packageInfo.print" returned "object ... not found". A request for class(mclustInfo) confirmed that it was a packageInfo object, so I tried getMethod("print", "packageInfo"); I got, 'No generic function defined for "print"'. Then I tried, getMethod("show", "packageInfo"); I got, 'No method defined for function "show" and signature object = "packageInfo"'.
      Anyway, I now have more than one method that works. 
      thanks again.  spencer graves

Gabor Grothendieck wrote:

>Spencer Graves <spencer.graves <at>> writes:
>: I wanted to direct packageInfo to a file, so I could add comments,
>: e.g., in MS Word. The following command stored the desired information
>: in an object:
>: mclustInfo <- help(package="mclust")
>: Then "mclustInfo" displays it on my screen. To direct it to a
>: file, I tried the following:
>: sink("mclust.txt")
>: mclustInfo
>: sink()
>: This sequence created an empty file "mclust.txt", while displaying
>: mclustInfo on my screen. After a few more failed attempts, I gave up
>: trying to be clever and copied the text from the screen into Word.
>In addition to your copy and paste solution:
>1. You could intercept the output by redefining the pager:
> a. create a one line file called mypager.bat in \ with this line:
> type %1 > /mclust.txt
> (with appropriate modifications if you are using UNIX).
> b. In R issue these commands:
> old <- options()
> options(pager = "/mypager.bat")
> help(package = "mclust")
> options(old) # reset options back if finished
>2. Don't use R but go right to the DESCRIPTION and INDEX
> files. getwd("library/mclust") should show you where
> to find them.
>3. If you don't care about the formatting:
> sink("/mclust.txt")
> writeLines(unlist(help(package="mclust")$info))
> sink()
>4. You could modify packageInfo.print adding a file= argument.
> mailing list
>PLEASE do read the posting guide!
> mailing list PLEASE do read the posting guide! Received on Sun Jul 25 10:56:45 2004

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