[Rd] UseMethod call with no arguments

Henrik Bengtsson hb at maths.lth.se
Mon Nov 15 19:53:35 CET 2004

Dear R developers,

I will ask a very straightforward question concerning UseMethod's future,
because people depending on my code wonder what will happen to it next.

In R v2.0.1 NEWS it says

    o	The undocumented use of UseMethod() with no argument is now
	formally deprecated. 

and in the R v2.0.1 help(UseMethod) it says

  'UseMethod' accepts a call with no arguments and tries to deduce
   the generic from the context.  This was undocumented on the help
   page and is now deprecated.  It is allowed but 'strongly
   discouraged' in S-PLUS.

The short question is: UseMethod() with no arguments is deprecated.
Typically, after making something deprecated it will later become defunct.
Do you have any plans for when this will happen? Are we talking months,
years or in reality never? A version number?

Second, in R v2.0.0 NEWS there was nothing on making UseMethod() without
arguments deprecated (the latest patched version I have is dated October
21st). As I believe a rather big step has been taken, I am somewhat
surprised that I haven't seen it discussed. Was there a discussion taking
place elsewhere that I missed, or is it an "obvious" update?

Finally, many thanks for making R (the software, the help, the community,
...) to what it is.

Best wishes

Henrik Bengtsson

Dept. of Mathematical Statistics @ Centre for Mathematical Sciences 
Lund Institute of Technology/Lund University, Sweden (+2h UTC)
+46 46 2229611 (off), +46 708 909208 (cell), +46 46 2224623 (fax)
h b @ m a t h s . l t h . s e, http://www.maths.lth.se/~hb/

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