[Bioc-devel] Naming and namespace collisions for commonly-named functions

Martin Morgan martin.morgan at roswellpark.org
Tue Jan 24 16:31:34 CET 2017

On 01/24/2017 10:19 AM, Sean Davis wrote:
> Hi, all.
> I am curious about what folks think about naming conventions for commonly
> named functions, some of which are so common that even establishing a
> generic would be difficult because of different use cases.  Examples
> include things like “filter”.  One possibility is to use the Google Sheets
> approach and prefix function names with ‘gs_’.  The alternative approach is
> to use the more common names and rely on folks to disambiguate if more than
> one package that shares the name is loaded.  The former has the advantage
> of being more novice-friendly, but the latter is likely to sit nicely with
> developers and regular R/Bioc users since the functions will be commonly
> used.  Any thoughts one way or the other?

I think that if functions have semantic differences either in argument 
or return values then one should choose a different name, definitely.

Even if functions have similar semantics, it's often valuable to 
emphasize the unique features being offered by your version, e.g., 
bplapply() points the user to the help page where BPPARAM is a explicit 

And a prefix means that the script works always, not just when one 
remembers to disambiguate in the session where the conflicting package 
was not loaded (hence no reminder that disambiguation was necessary).


> Thanks,
> Sean
> 	[[alternative HTML version deleted]]
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