[Rd] Wish list
Duncan Murdoch
murdoch at stats.uwo.ca
Tue Jan 2 01:32:29 CET 2007
On 1/1/2007 12:59 PM, Charles C. Berry wrote:
> On Mon, 1 Jan 2007, Duncan Murdoch wrote:
>
>> A few comments thrown in, and some general comments at the bottom.
>>
>> On 1/1/2007 1:28 AM, Gabor Grothendieck wrote:
>>> This is my 2007 New Year wishlist for R features:
>>>
>>> 1. [deleted thru 12]
>
>>> 13. Make upper/lower case of simplify/SIMPLIFY consistent on all
>>> apply commands and add a simplify= arg to by.
>> It would have been good not to introduce the inconsistency years ago,
>> but it's too late to change now.
>>
>
> Really? The consistency issue only concerns mapply, I think.
mapply and its wrapper Vectorize, and perhaps some functions in
contributed packages.
>
> How 'bout changing the formals of mapply to
>
> $FUN
>
>
> $...
>
>
> $MoreArgs
> NULL
>
> $SIMPLIFY
> simplify
>
> $USE.NAMES
> [1] TRUE
>
> $simplify
> [1] TRUE
>
> i.e. add simplify = TRUE and change SIMPLIFY's default to 'simplify'
>
> Then the default behavior is retained, specifying a value for
> either SIMPLIFY or simplify gives the desired behavior and SIMPLIFY takes
> precedence over simplify if both are given values. Not pretty, perhaps,
> but it does the job.
This allows mapply(..., simplify=TRUE), but is that really "the job"? I
think the point of consistency is to make code easier to read and write,
and I'm not sure making this one parameter partially case-insensitive
achieves that. Should the same thing be done to the functions that
currently use "simplify", to achieve even more consistency? Yecch.
> I suppose this could get one into trouble if one of the ... args is named
> 'simplify', but I do not imagine that is a big deal.
I think the reasoning behind the choice of SIMPLIFY was probably to
avoid a clash with one of the ... args.
I'd prefer a more general solution to this problem, like what the Mac
GUI does, and giving argument hints as a function call is being typed.
(I think ESS may do this too, but I don't use it.) There are lots of
inconsistencies in R functions, and I think making the syntax looser in
order to accept a consistent superset is not the right approach:
instead, the editor should make it easier for a user to discover what is
appropriate in any given context.
Duncan Murdoch
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