[Rd] changes in upcoming lattice

Deepayan Sarkar deepayan.sarkar at gmail.com
Thu Sep 14 20:18:31 CEST 2006


there will be some fairly major changes in the lattice that will get
released with R 2.4.0. A first version is now available on CRAN, at


Although there is a dependency on R 2.4, the package passes R CMD
check on 2.3.1 as well if you change the Depends line in DESCRIPTION.
In other words, you should be able to test it even if you are not
running r-devel.

There are 3 types of changes:

1. Some new features. These are of the most interest in the long run
(albeit to a very small number of users) , but they have not been
thoroughly tested or documented (and some features not even
implemented). Documentation, such as it is, can be found in


2. Bugs that have been introduced in the course of implementing these
new features. Of course I'm hoping that there aren't any such, but I'm
sure there are. So testing your lattice code to flesh out these bugs
before the 2.4.0 release would be appreciated.

3. This is where I might get some legitimate complaints. For the last
several versions of lattice, there has been a feature where the panel
function would get passed arguments called panel.number and
packet.number under certain circumstances. This was to enable the
panel function to know which panel was being plotted. This was
intended as a quick hack, but apparently several users have found the
feature useful. Some new functions, described in ?panel.number,
address this issue in a cleaner and more general way.

Given these new functions, I would like to remove the earlier features
(arguments to panel functions). In fact, I have removed them in
lattice_0.14-3. I will put them back if other packages on CRAN start
to fail or if enough users want it back. I would normally have kept it
in with some sort of warning, but the formal deprecation mechanism
doesn't work in this setting, and I would rather start cleaning up
code that made this work than make it even more complicated. I would
be happy to assist package developers who want to write portable code
that works in both older and newer versions of lattice.

Comments / suggestions / bug reports are welcome.


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