[Rd] library( ) and verbose=

Prof Brian Ripley ripley at stats.ox.ac.uk
Sun Jul 11 14:00:34 CEST 2004

On Sun, 11 Jul 2004, Frank E Harrell Jr wrote:

> The Hmisc package has in its .First.lib function a verbose argument,
> which I thought was the way to allow users to suppress certain messages,
> by issuing library(Hmisc, verbose=FALSE).  But I see that library( )
> does not pass verbose to .First.lib.  The default for verbose in Hmisc
> is TRUE because .First.lib prints some important information about
> masked functions.  What is the best way to fix this?  Is it reasonable
> to expect library to pass verbose along?  I'm running R 1.9 on debian.

No. It is not documented to, and .First.lib (in R or S) has only two 
documented arguments so it would not be possible to do this in a 
backwards-compatible way.  (If we passed ... along, then using
library(foo, verbose=FALSE) would fail for almost all packages foo with a 
.First.lib function.)

We normally suggest that such options are handled by setting an 
environment variable or perhaps an option (e.g. option(Hmisc.verbose = 

Brian D. Ripley,                  ripley at stats.ox.ac.uk
Professor of Applied Statistics,  http://www.stats.ox.ac.uk/~ripley/
University of Oxford,             Tel:  +44 1865 272861 (self)
1 South Parks Road,                     +44 1865 272866 (PA)
Oxford OX1 3TG, UK                Fax:  +44 1865 272595

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