[R] self documenting workspaces, and the proper role of the dot
jaitchis at lisp.com.au
Mon Feb 19 09:22:55 CET 2001
again I ask for some suggestions : I don't mind being told to RTFM as long
as I get a few hints as to where to look <g>
suppose I want to document the set of functions and vectors that I have in
a workspace, and I would like to make that workspace 'self documenting' ..
so I could open up that particular workspace in a few months and know what
xdiff contained ..etc. Essentially I want a listing of objects and their
I could write a function to list each object and its 'description' easily
enough, but names() does not quite fit the bill. For a 'scalar' I can use
names(), but for a vector names() wants every element named - I guess I
could just use the name of the first element but this is a bit kludgy. For
a function I don't see any way of using names(), but I guess I could
be disciplined about this and have every function that is specific to the
workspace return some descriptive string.
One possibility that occurred to me is to have some 'documentation'
eg fred.doc<-"this is function fred and it does whatever"
and write a function to list these (or the names of scalars) ..I suppose
that is OK , if a little inelegant.
So this is less of a technical question than a housekeeping/procedural one
.. if someone has a nice solution or if there are some features of R that
I have overlooked that could be of assistance, I would be very interested.
somewhat separate topic : the dot
I'd also appreciate it if someone could clarify for me the proper role of
the dot. It appears there are no semantic/syntactic restrictions on its
use, as in
or even ....<-1:10
but I suspect there are some conventions at work, with which I am not
au fait. For instance I have noted that in ls() .prefixed objects can be
ignored, by option.
So is an initial dot intended to denote 'internal' (or 'working') in
What about p.value ? is there some reason for this, as opposed to pvalue
In the oo languages with which I am most familar, dot is used to denote
hierarchy eg text.font.style .. is there a similar intention at work
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