[Rd] proto and baseenv()

Ben misc7 at emerose.org
Sat Feb 27 02:46:35 CET 2010

Maybe I'm still not getting something fundamental, but I didn't intend
my "proto(baseenv(), expr={a <- z})$a" example to be realistic.  In
practice "a <- z" would be replaced with hundreds of lines of code,
where many functions are called.  In theory you could track down every
function that's global or from another package and track them down,
but then you would have to put dozens of extra lines of boilerplate.
It's actually worse than that, as this example shows:

> proto(baseenv(), f = function(.) sd(1:3))$f()
Error in get("f", env = proto(baseenv(), f = function(.) sd(1:3)), inherits = TRUE)(proto(baseenv(),  : 
  could not find function "sd"
> proto(baseenv(), sd = sd, f = function(.) sd(1:3))$f()
Error in sd(1:3) : could not find function "var"

Not only would every external function have to be specifically
declared with a separate argument, even unused functions may need to
be declared.  That means any change in the implementation of an
external function could break this code.

Again, I may be missing something since I'm new to proto, but I don't
see why you're dismissing this example as "user error".

Ben Escoto

----------------- Original message -----------------
From: Gabor Grothendieck <ggrothendieck at gmail.com>
To: Ben <misc7 at emerose.org>
Date: Fri, 26 Feb 2010 09:28:46 -0500
On Fri, Feb 26, 2010 at 9:01 AM, Ben <misc7 at emerose.org> wrote:
>> In end it seems that your real beef is with R so perhaps you should
>> be using a different language.
> In my case you may be right.  I do think there are a million things
> wrong with R.  For instance, I was looking for a package that
> overcomes two of the problems R IMHO has: namespace pollution and the
> lack of an easy-to-use standard object system.
> Should I be using R?  I do keep asking myself that same question...
>> With respect to proto its really just discussing whether to use
>> proto(baseenv(), ...) vs proto(...)
> Unfortunately this doesn't fix the problem as was noted earlier:
>> z <- 1
>> proto(baseenv(), expr={a <- z})$a
> Error in eval(expr, envir, enclos) : object "z" not found

As already mentioned lets not confuse user error with actual problems
pertaining to proto and R.  It should have been written like this if
that is what was wanted:

> z <- 1
> proto(baseenv(), a = z)$a
[1] 1

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