[R] R annoyances

John Fox jfox at mcmaster.ca
Thu May 19 21:10:53 CEST 2005

Dear Jan,

Since you can use variables named c, q, or t in any event, I don't see why
the existence of functions with these names is much of an impediment.

The problem that I see with T and F is that allowing them to be redefined
sets a trap for people. If R wants to discourage use of T and F for TRUE and
FALSE, then why provide standard global variables by these names? On the
other hand, if providing T and F is considered desirable (e.g., for S-PLUS
compatibility), then why not make them reserved names?


John Fox
Department of Sociology
McMaster University
Hamilton, Ontario
Canada L8S 4M4

> -----Original Message-----
> From: Jan T. Kim [mailto:jtk at cmp.uea.ac.uk] 
> Sent: Thursday, May 19, 2005 12:22 PM
> To: John Fox
> Subject: Re: [R] R annoyances
> On Thu, May 19, 2005 at 11:55:22AM -0400, John Fox wrote:
> > Dear Uwe,
> > 
> > I've often wondered why T and F aren't reserved words in R 
> as TRUE and 
> > FALSE are. Perhaps there's some use of T and F as 
> variables, but that 
> > seems ill-advised.
> Personally, I'd rather argue the other way around: Reserved 
> words should be words that should be more unique and 
> expressive than just a single letter.
> In fact, I've found it slightly irritating at times that c, q 
> and t are functions in the base package, as I'm somewhat 
> prone to use all of these as local variable names...
> Best regards, Jan
> --
>  +- Jan T. Kim 
> -------------------------------------------------------+
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