V4: Web search engines

Patrice Kiener



RWsearch stands for « Search in R packages, task views, CRAN and in the Web ».

RWsearch is a management tool that serves several purposes:

  1. Provide a simple instruction to read and evaluate non-standard content (non-standard evaluation).
  2. Download the list of all packages and task views available on CRAN at a given date and rearrange them in a convenient format.
  3. List the packages that has been added, updated and removed between two dates.
  4. Search packages that match one or several keywords (with mode or, and, relax) in any column of the data.frame and by default in columns Package name, Title, Description, Author and Maintainer (can be selected individually).
  5. Arrange the results in different format (list, tables with different columns) and display them in console or in txt, md, html, pdf files.
  6. In one instruction, download on your disk the whole documentation related to one or several packages. This is the perfect tool to read the documentation off-line.
  7. Provide tools for task view maintenance: Detect the packages recently added to or updated in CRAN, check if they match some keywords, check if they are already recorded in a given task views.
  8. Provide quick links to launch web search engines and search for keywords from the R console. This list of web search engines is expected to grow (with your help).

Compare to other packages (packagefinder, websearchr) or web services (RDocumentation, rdrr) with similar objectives, the search options of RWsearch are more sophisticated and allow for a finer search. RWsearch also addresses a much larger number of web search engines. Non-standard evaluation (or evaluation of non-standard content) makes it user friendly.

This vignette deals with point 8. Points 1 to 7 are discussed in other vignettes.

Explore the web

Web search engines are major tools to explore the web. Some search engines explores the full web when some other search engines are restricted to a specific website. To remember their favorite search engines, people record them as quick links in their browser. Why not store them directly in an R package and hide in the R functions the specific syntax of each search engine? This is the W of RWsearch.

This version of RWsearch has aleady referred more then 60 web search engines. We wish this number to grow thanks to the contribution of everyone.

The generic function

Function Comment
h_ttp() The generic function

Suggest new search engines

We wish this number to grow thanks to the contribution of everyone. Feel free to suggest me some new links.