[Rd] Possible tweak to R intro - was RE: [R] Subseting a data.frame -

Prof Brian Ripley ripley at stats.ox.ac.uk
Mon Oct 21 10:17:27 CEST 2013

On 18/10/2013 15:12, S Ellison wrote:
> Transferred from R-help:
>>> From: S Ellison
>>> Subsetting using subset() is perhaps the most natural way of
>>> subsetting data frames; perhaps a line or two and an example could
>>> usefully be included in the 'Working with data frames' section of the R
>>> Intro?
>> From: Bert Gunter [mailto:gunter.berton at gene.com]
>> The R Intro Manual was largely or entirely the work of Bill Venables
>> some years ago. So it is not really a part of R's maintained document
>> system and has thus not been kept up to date with changes like the
>> convenience function, subset(), which is basically a wrapper for "[]"
>> .
>> This is not to say that your suggestion is not worthwhile, only to
>> explain why it probably won't be acted upon.

No, this is deliberate and R-intro is kept up-to-date (although it 
remains an introduction, not a full manual).

Some of us think convenience functions such as subset() and transform() 
were mistakes, not least as we see the problems they cause when people 
try to use them in functions and packages.  Sooner or later you will 
need to learn to use indexing, and knowing about two systems with 
different scoping rules is too confusing for quite a few R users.

> It's trivial enough that I could offer a 3-line patch if someone has time and inclination to add it...
> S Ellison

Brian D. Ripley,                  ripley at stats.ox.ac.uk
Professor of Applied Statistics,  http://www.stats.ox.ac.uk/~ripley/
University of Oxford,             Tel:  +44 1865 272861 (self)
1 South Parks Road,                     +44 1865 272866 (PA)
Oxford OX1 3TG, UK                Fax:  +44 1865 272595

More information about the R-devel mailing list