[R] Combined variable names
maechler at stat.math.ethz.ch
Fri Dec 3 09:34:56 CET 2004
>>>>> "Richard" == Richard A O'Keefe <ok at cs.otago.ac.nz>
>>>>> on Fri, 3 Dec 2004 14:53:04 +1300 (NZDT) writes:
Richard> I wrote about the perennial "assign to V1 ... Vn" problem:
>> >What I want to know is *WHY* people are doing this?
Richard> I failed to make myself clear.
Richard> What I meant was "what happens NEXT? Once someone
Richard> has got past the stage of generating V1 ... V100
Richard> (or whatever the magic number is), what do they
Richard> intend to DO with them?
Richard> I think this is the important question, and I think
Richard> that this is what the FAQ needs to give help with,
Richard> and once I understand what people are trying to
Richard> accomplish *overall* I will be happy to offer some
Richard> text for the FAQ.
that would be very useful, thank you in advance.
Richard> I've used stats packages myself that let you
Richard> abbreviate a range of variables. The thing is that
Richard> this was supported by *analysis* methods (and
Richard> output methods), not just *input* methods. Now it
Richard> seems to me that pretty much everything I would
Richard> want to do with a bunch of separate variables like
Richard> this in such a package would mean in R that I
Richard> desperately wanted these things to be columns in a
Richard> data frame.
or--more generally--named list components. -- important, e.g.,
when the v_j's have differing lengths.
Richard> Perhaps the next time someone asks this question we
Richard> can ask them what they intend to do with the
Richard> variables once they have them. On past history, we
Richard> shan't have to wait very long.
good idea (and it may well have been "implemented" occasionaly
in the past).
Martin Maechler, ETH Zurich
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