[Rd] heads and tails

Bill.Venables at csiro.au Bill.Venables at csiro.au
Sun May 1 04:39:02 CEST 2005

Using head and tail recently, it occurred to me that it 
would be very handy to have the unix convention more 
fully, namely to allow negative values for "n" to 
signify omission of lines rather than inclusion.

Thus head(X, -1) would mean "all but the last line" and
	tail(X, -1) would mean "all but the first line".

Private correspondence has made me aware that this idea 
is not new, and that there is no organised opposition to 
it.  Moreover the code changes needed are trivial (and 
I am happy to supply them if people want...) and no 
presently working code would be broken.

Has the time for this admittedly minor but harmless 
convenience feature come at last?

Bill Venables, 
CMIS, CSIRO Laboratories, 
PO Box 120, Cleveland, Qld. 4163
Phone:  +61 7 3826 7251  
Fax:    +61 7 3826 7304
Mobile: +61 4 1963 4642
Home:   +61 7 3286 7700
mailto:Bill.Venables at csiro.au

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