[Rd] "+" operator on characters revisited
Vitalie S.
spinuvit.list at gmail.com
Sun Jan 23 21:15:59 CET 2011
Spencer Graves <spencer.graves at structuremonitoring.com> writes:
> On 1/23/2011 8:50 AM, peter dalgaard wrote:
>> On Jan 22, 2011, at 21:08 , Vitalie S. wrote:
>>
>>> The only definite argument occurred in the thread against "+" operator
>>> was the lack of commutativity (as if one have to prove algebraic
>>> theorems in R).
>> I think the real killer was associativity, combined with coercion rules:
>>
>> Is "x"+1+2 supposed to be equal to "x12" or "x3"?
>>
> Excellent: This seems like a good reason to follow Python: Allow "a+b" with a character vector "a" only if
> "b" is also a character vector (or factor?).
>
> This example raises another question: If we allow "a+b" for "a" and "b" both character vectors (and give an
> error if one is numeric), what do we do with factors? If "a" is a factor,
> return a factor?
If we define custom %+% as:
`%+%` <- function(a, b){
if(is.character(a) || is.character(b))
paste(as.character(a), as.character(b), sep="")
else
a + b
}
because of higher precedence of %any% operators over binary + we have:
"a" %+% 1 %+% 2
## [1] "a12"
and
str("a" %+% factor(1:2))
## chr [1:2] "a1" "a2"
so if + on characters would behave "as if" having slightly higher priority than
other + operators that might solve reasonably the problem.
Vitalie.
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