Proposal for discussion: COLNAMES & ROWNAMES

Martin Maechler Martin Maechler <>
Mon, 9 Nov 1998 17:33:02 +0100

>>>>> "PaulG" == Paul Gilbert <> writes:

    MM> COLNAMES <- function(x)
    MM>      if(is.null(n <- colnames(x))) paste(seq(length=NCOL(x))) else n
    MM> ROWNAMES <- function(x)
    MM>      if(is.null(n <- rownames(x))) paste(seq(length=NCOL(x))) else n

    MM> Do you have any positive or negative thoughts on this?

    PaulG> Here are a few thoughts.

thank you!

    PaulG> 0/ In ROWNAMES use NROW

oh yes !

    PaulG> 1/ You might try do this in some way that generalizes more
    PaulG> easily to arrays, but I'm not sure how.

this would mean DIMNAMES, presumably.

    PaulG> 2/ You might want paste("col", seq(length=NCOL(x))) instead of
    PaulG> just the numbers.

Not directly;
    In the places I've seen a possible use, 
    sometimes there was "var", sometimes "..." (forgotten), sometimes no
    prefix at all.  

However, we could add an optional argument `prefix', 
even with sensible defaults: 

    COLNAMES <- function(x, prefix = "col")
	if(is.null(n <- colnames(x)))
		paste(prefix, seq(length=NCOL(x)), sep="") else n
    ROWNAMES <- function(x, prefix = "row")
	if(is.null(n <- rownames(x)))
		paste(prefix, seq(length=NROW(x)), sep="") else n
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