[Rd] Bounty on Error Checking

Bert Gunter gunter.berton at gene.com
Thu Jan 3 19:16:34 CET 2013


On Thu, Jan 3, 2013 at 10:00 AM, ivo welch <ivo.welch at anderson.ucla.edu> wrote:
> Dear R developers---I just spent half a day debugging an R program,
> which had two bugs---I selected the wrongly named variable, which
> turns out to have been a scalar, which then happily multiplied as if
> it was a matrix; and another wrongly named variable from a data frame,
> that triggered no error when used as a[["name"]] or a$name .  there
> should be an option to turn on that throws an error inside R when one
> does this.  I cannot imagine that there is much code that wants to
> reference non-existing columns in data frames.

But I can -- and do it all the time: To add a new variable, "d" to a
data frame, df,  containing only "a" and "b" (with 10 rows, say):

df[["d"]] <- 1:10

Trying to outguess documentation to create error triggers is a very bad idea.

R already has plenty of debugging tools -- and there is even a "debug"
package. Perhaps you need a better programming editor/IDE. There are
several listed on CRAN, RStudio, etc.

-- Bert
> I know you guys are saints for developing without financial support.
> but maybe we non-insider end-users can help by putting up a bounty
> list on R-project for us end-users to contribute to?  I would pledge
> $500 to a $10,000 fund that funds a project to comprehensively enhance
> the programming and debugging aspects of R.  it would only take 20 of
> us to make this possible.
> personally, I think basic nudgeware is the way to go.  when a user
> starts R in interactive mode, there should be a note that says,
>  please donate $20 to the R foundation to support the development.
> press enter to continue or enter your contribution number to avoid
> this message in the future .
> you can even accept the same string if need be.  it's a nudge only,
> not a requirement.
> regards,
> /iaw
> ----
> Ivo Welch (ivo.welch at gmail.com)
> http://www.ivo-welch.info/
> J. Fred Weston Professor of Finance
> Anderson School at UCLA, C519
> Director, UCLA Anderson Fink Center for Finance and Investments
> Free Finance Textbook, http://book.ivo-welch.info/
> Editor, Critical Finance Review, http://www.critical-finance-review.org/
> ______________________________________________
> R-devel at r-project.org mailing list
> https://stat.ethz.ch/mailman/listinfo/r-devel


Bert Gunter
Genentech Nonclinical Biostatistics

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Phone: 467-7374

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