[Rd] Best practices for writing R functions
simon.urbanek at r-project.org
Fri Jul 22 17:36:27 CEST 2011
On Jul 22, 2011, at 9:26 AM, Alireza Mahani wrote:
> I am developing an R package for internal use, and eventually for public
> release. My understanding is that there is no easy way to avoid copying
> function arguments in R (i.e. we don't have the concept of pointers in R),
> which makes me wary of freely creating chains of function calls since each
> function call implies data copy overhead.
> Is the above assessment fair?
No. Although R maintains the illusion of pass-by-value, it does to considerable length to prevent copying if not needed:
> f = function(x) x
As you see not a single copy is created even though there are 6 function calls.
As Spencer said, you should not worry unless you see a sign of a problem.
> Are there any good write-ups on best practices
> for writing efficient R libraries that take into consideration the
> above-mentioned limitations, and any others that might exist?
> Thank you,
> View this message in context: http://r.789695.n4.nabble.com/Best-practices-for-writing-R-functions-tp3686674p3686674.html
> Sent from the R devel mailing list archive at Nabble.com.
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