[R] good source for explaining input and output parameters of R functions

Liaw, Andy andy_liaw at merck.com
Thu Apr 17 02:37:14 CEST 2003

It's almost entirely up to the author of the function how much (or little)
to document in the help page.  Packages on CRAN go through some checks, one
of which is that all parameters of functions are documented in the help
page.  However, the return value is another matter.  It's supposed to be
documented in the "Value" section of the help page, but some people don't
bother documenting everything being returned, sometimes because some of them
weren't meant to be used by user directly.

When all else fails, read the R code itself.


> -----Original Message-----
> From: Yan Yu [mailto:yanyu at cs.ucla.edu]
> Sent: Wednesday, April 16, 2003 7:39 PM
> To: r-help at stat.math.ethz.ch
> Subject: [R] good source for explaining input and output 
> parameters of R
> functions
> Hello,
>    thank you all for answering my previous Qs.. I have a new Q:
>    I am wondering is there good source for explaning input and output
> parameters of R function?
>   In that aspect, I found the help documents in R is not that 
> helpful:)
> I am struggling with trying to understand what some of the 
> returned value
> means..
> for example, for surf.ls() function, the help in R only describes 3
> fields(the wierd thing is that those explained 3 fields are 
> identical to
> the input) of returned value, and leave a bunch of 
> others(e.g., like "f"
> and "wz"which looks pretty interesting, but i had no clue 
> what they are
> about..) unexplained.
> Is there any good source if I want to understand the input 
> and output of ,
> or how to use a particular R function?
> Many thanks,
> yan
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