[Rd] attributes of environments

Simon Urbanek simon.urbanek at r-project.org
Wed Jul 5 20:05:51 CEST 2006


On Jul 5, 2006, at 1:16 PM, Gabor Grothendieck wrote:

>> It really is the way R is designed to work. Whether it is a  
>> problem or not is a separate issue. Environments really are  
>> references, not values, and they really work differently from the  
>> way most other objects work.
> OK.  Its not a bug but as we discuss this it seems to me that its  
> current operation is undesirable

We discuss it only because *you* think it's undesirable...

> since environments don't seem to fit into the scheme that other  
> objects do yet different design/implement would allow this to occur.

Environments are different *on purpose*, what environments do cannot  
be achieved using any other 'standard' object. And it's exactly  
environment's behavior on assign that makes it useful, so what you  
are proposing is basically making it into a list (so that it gets  
copied on assign), which makes no sense. What you really want is  
something other than an environment, but you insist on using an  
environment - it's like insisting on using a screwdriver on a nail -  
it's not the screwdriver's fault that it doesn't work ...

.. and since you pounding on OO - environments are the closest you  
can get to an object semantics as implemented in the most popular OO  
languages, so I wonder why you aren't arguing to make all objects  
into references ;).


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