The S Documentation System

As described in Chapter 9 of Programming with Data, online documentation in S uses S objects, kept in a special meta database. Computations for online help are a combination of S computations on these objects and other computations using a mapping of documentation objects to the SGML language. The advantage of this organization is that both the S and the SGML versions of the documentation are capable of representing the structure of the information. The S side of the computations can map information from general S objects into the documentation (for example, using objects that represent S expressions), while the SGML side can organize both structural information about the document (what information is allowed and where) and also rendering information when web-based tools are used to view the documentation. The use of SGML allow users to exploit the new XML technology currently being developed. Among other benefits, we should see simpler and more productive search methods operating on the documentation and opportunities for research on more effective integrated help systems.
Duncan Temple Lang<>
Last modified: Fri Jun 19 10:23:15 EDT 1998