Re: [R] Function hints

From: Jonathan Baron <>
Date: Tue 20 Jun 2006 - 03:47:36 EST

On 06/19/06 13:13, Duncan Murdoch wrote:
> > `' does not allow full text search in the manpages (I can
> > imagine why (1000 hits...), but without such a thing google, for
> > instance, would probably not be half as useful as it is, right?) and
> > there is no "sorting by relevance" in the `' output, I think.
> > how this sorting could be achieved is a different question, of course.
> You probably want RSiteSearch("keyword", restrict="functions") (or even
> without the "restrict" part).

Yes. The restrict part will speed things up quite a bit, if you want to restrict to functions.

Or, alternatively, you could use Namazu (which I use to generate what RSiteSearch provides) to generate an index specific to your own installed functions and packages. The trick is to cd to the directory /usr/lib/R/library, or the equivalent, and then say

mknmz -q */html

which will pick up the html version of all the man pages (assuming you have generated them, and I have no idea whether this can be done on Windows). To update, say

mknmz --update=. -q */html

Then make a bookmark for the Namazu search page in your browser, as a local file. (I haven't given all the details. You have to install Namazu and follow the instructions.)

Or, if you have a web server, you could let Google do it for you. But, I warn you, Google will fill up your web logs pretty fast if you don't exclude it with robots.txt. I don't let it search my R stuff.

I think that Macs and various Linux versions also have other alternative built-in search capabilities, but I haven't tried them. Beagle is the new Linux search tool, but I don't know what it does.


Jonathan Baron, Professor of Psychology, University of Pennsylvania
Home page:
Editor: Judgment and Decision Making (

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