Sat, 21 Mar 1998 13:20:08 +1200 (NZST)
> To: Remail@example.com
> Subject: Apropos names.
> From: Peter Dalgaard BSA <firstname.lastname@example.org>
> Date: 19 Mar 1998 18:44:14 +0100
> MIME-Version: 1.0
> Content-Transfer-Encoding: 7bit
> (from R-core)
> > Btw, why can't object names contain a `@'?
Reserved for future use?
> Speaking of names. I've been thinking whether it would not at some
> point be wise to introduce namespaces into R. This would pretty
> obviously break a lot of S code, but it would also make it possible to
> avoid a lot of silly problems such as naming one's variables c, t, pt,
> df, rm, ...
> A plan that might work relatively smoothly could involve:
> - Separate functions from variables. We already do that to some extent
> ("looking for object of mode function...") [At the same time, one
> might get rid of everyone's favourite quirk: forgetting () and
> thus listing the function instead of calling it. I know: basic
> design, functions are just objects, etc., but really: Wouldn't it be
> nicer to type view(ls) the few times you actually wanted to see its
This has been done in common lisp and it's ugly. Consider
apply(x, 1, mean)
How do we indicate that this is the function called mean rather
than the non-function mean? The single namespace makes it much
easier to think about functions as data.
> - All system functions and variables are really named something like
> sys::c() i.e. we introduce a namespace separator ::.
> Functions/variables that are intended for general use can be made
> public, by a special call.
This is a definite possibility, but there are higher priorities at present.
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