[OS X Emacs] R+ESS delay in loading HTML help files when using Aquamacs GUI

Braun, Michael braunm at mail.smu.edu
Fri Mar 8 14:09:26 EST 2019

This is an issue that I think began when I upgraded to Mojave (now at 10.14.3), but I’m just now getting around to reporting it.  I am using the latest Aquamacs build, R 3.5.2, and ESS 18.10.2. I prefer using R’s HTML help, so I have set options(help_type=“html”) in R. For this purpose, assume my web browser is already open.

When working in an R session in an ESS buffer, if  I ask for help on a function, like “ ?mean “, the help page should appear in my browser quickly, within a second.  However, it is now taking about 8 seconds for the page to appear.  In the message bar, I see “starting httpd help server” during the intervening time. Put simply, it’s taking longer than it used to to get a help page, and I’m quite impatient.

I do not have this problem when running R in the Terminal window, either directly, or in an emacs ESS buffer. In both instances, the HTML help page pops up immediately.  The delay occurs only with the Aquamacs GUI, and occur when either Safari or Chrome is set as my default browser.

Any suggestions on how to further debug this issue would be greatly appreciated.  Thanks.


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