[Rd] Bug in handling of promises?
Duncan Murdoch
murdoch at stats.uwo.ca
Tue Mar 8 19:00:10 CET 2005
On Tue, 8 Mar 2005 17:44:41 +0000 (GMT), Prof Brian Ripley
<ripley at stats.ox.ac.uk> wrote :
>The following note in ?force may help
>
>Note:
>
> 'force' does not force the evaluation of promises.
>
>It is there because people have been confused before.
Yes, but it also says that it "forces the evaluation of a function
argument", which is what I was trying to do.
But mainly what may be a bug is the fact that H was available in env
but its value was not, even though it had already been evaluated in
that environment.
My examples were unnecessarily complicated last time, because they
were too much like the original. Here are simpler versions:
> f <- function( H ) {
+ cat('Evaluate H to get ', H, '\n')
+ return(environment())
+ }
>
> env <- f( 1 )
Evaluate H to get 1
> env$H
<promise: 0118BF1C>
>
> g <- function( H ) {
+ force(H)
+ return(environment())
+ }
>
> env <- g( 2 )
> env$H
<promise: 0118A148>
>
>
> h <- function( H ) {
+ H <- H
+ return(environment())
+ }
>
> env <- h( 3 )
> env$H
[1] 3
Duncan Murdoch
>
>
>On Tue, 8 Mar 2005, Duncan Murdoch wrote:
>
>> I'm working on a function that does adaptive sampling, and I thought
>> it would be handy to return the function's environment as part of the
>> result so that I could re-use local variables in a subsequent run. My
>> first try didn't work, and it came down to code like this:
>>
>>> f <- function( H, prevEnv = NULL) {
>> + if (!is.null(prevEnv)) H <- prevEnv$H
>> + cat('Evaluate H to get ', H(1), '\n')
>> + return(environment(NULL))
>> + }
>>
>> I thought that evaluating H would force it, so that H would be
>> available in the environment returned by the function. But this is
>> not so:
>>
>>> env <- f( function(x) x^2 )
>> Evaluate H to get 1
>>> env$H
>> <promise: 012094D8>
>>> env$H(1)
>> Error: attempt to apply non-function
>>
>> So I tried to explicitly force it:
>>
>>> g <- function( H, prevEnv = NULL) {
>> + if (!is.null(prevEnv)) H <- prevEnv$H
>> + force(H)
>> + return(environment(NULL))
>> + }
>>
>> but this still doesn't work:
>>
>>> env <- g( function(x) x^2 )
>>> env$H
>> <promise: 01206FC0>
>>> env$H(1)
>> Error: attempt to apply non-function
>>
>> It seems that I need to do an assignment to convert H from a promise
>> to an evaluated object:
>>
>>> h <- function( H, prevEnv = NULL) {
>> + if (!is.null(prevEnv)) H <- prevEnv$H
>> + H <- H
>> + return(environment(NULL))
>> + }
>>> env <- h( function(x) x^2 )
>>> env$H
>> function(x) x^2
>>> env$H(1)
>> [1] 1
>>
>> Is this a bug, or just the way things are?
>>
>> I get the same results in both R-patched and R-devel.
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