[Rd] RFC: diag(x, n) not preserving integer and logical x
maechler at stat.math.ethz.ch
Thu Aug 7 10:51:51 CEST 2014
This is not at all something new(*). As maintainer of the
Matrix package, I don't like this inconsistency of base R's diag().
We have had the following -- forever, almost surely inherited
from S and S+ :
diag(x) preserves the storage mode of x for 'complex' and
'double' precision, but converts integer and logicals to double :
> storage.mode(x <- 1i + 1:7); storage.mode(diag(x))
> storage.mode(x <- 0 + 1:7); storage.mode(diag(x))
> storage.mode(x <- 1:7); storage.mode(diag(x))
> storage.mode(x <- 1:7 > 3); storage.mode(diag(x))
and so it is actually a bit cumbersome (and a memory waste in
the case of large matrices) to create a diagonal integer or
The help page does not mention the current behavior, though you
may say it alludes to the fact that logicals are treated as 0/1
If I change this behavior such that logical and integer x are
which includes all checks, including those of all recommended
packages (including Matrix!) successfully runs through; so at
least base + Recommended R never relies on the current
behavior, nor should any "well programmed" R code ...
Hence my proposal, somewhat tentative for now,
to change this diag(.) behavior.
*) and possibly something we "can not" change in R, because too
much code implicitely may be depending on it, but now I hope
we can still...
**) BTW, also including the somewhat amusing case of diag(c("A","B")).
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