[Rd] bug: sticky symbol refs? (PR#9555)

peter-m.schumacher at db.com peter-m.schumacher at db.com
Tue Mar 6 21:18:42 CET 2007

Hello. What happens in the following is that I create two simple functions, f and g, on the workspace. Then I
replace g. When I then call f, it uses the old version of g. Now clearly, the circumstances for this to happen
must be quite special and rare. But I'd say they're not pathological. It seems to require two things: 1) masked versions
of f and g on a search position lower down the search list (but I'm not sure that's necessary), and 2) using
source() to create the objects, but evaluated in a local environment, not the global one. I'm pretty confident that
2) is necessary for the bug.

Practical impact: like I suppose many users, I maintain my own R functions in a .RData file which I've always got
attached at pos 2. Periodically I dump() them to file, take that file to another site, and source() them in there.
However I don't want all the functions to be created on search pos'n 1, so I have a wrapper my.source() which creates
them in a local environment then copies from that down to search pos 2. So that's all fairly innocent, and probably
not uncommon.

How to reproduce:

########## put this code in /temp/myFuns.R:
`f` <-
function (x)
`g` <-

# now create a fresh .RData and attach it at pos 2:
> save(list = character(0), file = "/temp/.RData")    # to create it
> attach( "/temp/.RData", pos=2 )

# now source() /temp/myFuns.R in a local env, then copy new objs to search pos 2:
> newEnv <- new.env()
> eval(expression(source(file = "/temp/myFuns.R", local = T)), envir=newEnv)
> for( objName in objects(envir = newEnv, all.names = T) ) {
      assign(objName, get(objName, envir = newEnv), pos = 2)

> f <- f # copy from pos 2 to workspace; (needed?)
> g <- g # copy from pos 2 to workspace; (needed?)
> f(1) # gives correct answer
> g <- function(x) stop( "this is the new g" )
> f(1) # gives wrong answer; uses the old g();

# now re-create f from scratch, assign under new name:
> f2 <- eval( parse( text=deparse(f) ) )
> f2(1) # gives correct answer
Error in g(x) : this is the new g

# note that the original f() continues to malfunction;

--please do not edit the information below--

 platform = i386-pc-mingw32
 arch = i386
 os = mingw32
 system = i386, mingw32
 status =
 major = 2
 minor = 4.1
 year = 2006
 month = 12
 day = 18
 svn rev = 40228
 language = R
 version.string = R version 2.4.1 (2006-12-18)

Windows XP Professional (build 2600) Service Pack 2.0

LC_COLLATE=English_United Kingdom.1252;LC_CTYPE=English_United Kingdom.1252;LC_MONETARY=English_United

Kingdom.1252;LC_NUMERIC=C;LC_TIME=English_United Kingdom.1252

Search Path:
 .GlobalEnv, file:/temp/.RData, file:c:/schupl/R/myRLib/.RData, file:c:/schupl/R/myFinanceLib/.RData, file:c:/schupl/R/recycler/.RData,

package:stats, package:graphics, package:grDevices, package:utils, package:datasets, package:methods, Autoloads, package:base

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