[R] Output args?

Prof Brian D Ripley ripley at stats.ox.ac.uk
Fri Jun 9 07:15:52 CEST 2000

On Thu, 8 Jun 2000, Yves Gauvreau wrote (after adding some line breaks):

> Is there a way to find out if a function was called with an 
> output argument? Or to prevent the printing of large amount of data if
> the function was called without output argument?

and later:

> I forgot to ask if it was possible when there is no output argument to
> somehow "put" the data in the global environnement?

I think you misunderstand. S is a functional language, so *all* functions
return something (possible NULL).  And if an object is evaluated at the
top-level and is not part of an assignment, its result is *printed* unless
the auto-print flag is false. If you don't want to see the result, either
enclose the call in invisible() or assign the result to an R object, as in

> 2+3
[1] 5
> invisible(2+3)
> z <- 2+3

(BTW, "+" really is a function in S, and I could have written "+"(2,3)
to show this.)

I hope I have guessed correctly what you had in mind.

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 272860 (secr)
Oxford OX1 3TG, UK                Fax:  +44 1865 272595

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