[R] Summary (Re: (S|odf)weave : how to intersperse (\LaTeX{}|odf) comments in source code ? Delayed R evaluation ?)

Emmanuel Charpentier emm.charpentier at free.fr
Mon Dec 13 00:30:38 CET 2010

Dear list,

see comment at end.

On Sat, 11 Dec 2010 22:58:10 +0000, Emmanuel Charpentier wrote :

> Dear list,
> Inspired by the original Knuth tools, and for paedaogical reasons, I
> wish to produce a document presenting some source code with interspersed
> comments in the source (see Knuth's books rendering TeX and metafont
> sources to see what I mean).
> I seemed to remember that a code chunk could be defined piecewise, like
> in
> Comments...
> <<Chunk1, eval=FALSE, echo=TRUE>>=
> SomeCode
> @
> Some other comments...
> <<Chunk2, eval=FALSE, echo=TRUE>>=
> MoreCode
> @
> And finally,
> <<Chunk3, eval=TRUE, echo=TRUE>>=
> <<Chunk1>>
> <<Chunk2>>
> EndOfTheCode
> @
> That works ... as long as SomeCode, MoreCode and EndOfTheCode are self-
> standing pieces of R code, but *not* code fragments. You can *not*
> intersperse comments in, say, a function body, or  local() environment
> this way : when Sweaving, *R* complains of an incomplete source (makes
> noise about an unexpected end of input at the end of Chunk1, IIRC, and
> never sees Chunk2).
> I hoped that Sweave's "alternative" syntax could offer a way out : no
> such luck.
> There seems to be no way to delay R evaluation of a R chunk passed by
> Sweave ; at least, the "eval=FALSE" option of chunk declaration is not
> sufficient for that.
> Am I missing something in the Sweave nd odfWeve documentations (that I
> read till I grew green and moldy) ? Or does this require a fundamental
> change in the relevant Sweave drivers ?
> Can you suggest alternative ways of doing what I mean to do ? The only
> workaround I found is to paste a second copy of my code in a \verbatim
> environment (or, in the case of odfWeave, in the "text" part), and spice
> it with \end{verbatim} comments.. \begin{verbatim} chunks. This way, I
> lose any guarantee of consistency between commented text and effective
> code.
> Any other idea ?
> 					Emmanuel Charpentier

To summarize the answers I got so far, there seems to be no satisfactory 
solutions to my current problem with either Sweave or odfWeave :
	- every (Sw|odfW)eave code chunk has to be parseable in itself. 
One cannot break it in unparseable pieces in home to paste it later ;
	- the (hypothetical) "parse=FALSE" option, suggested by Duncan 
Murdoch, is, well, hypothetical ;
	- the brew package is not integrated in either Sweave or 
odfWeave ;
	- R-style comments will get you only so far (where is math markup 
when you need it ?) ;
	- subdivising work in small units is not a practical solution, 
when your "big piece" of software is a collection of small parts and 
local variable assignments, embedded in a (perforce large) local 
environment to keep things clean...

Therefore, I let this problem to sleep. However, I Cc this answer (with 
the original question below) to Max Kuhn and Friedrich Leisch, in the 
(faint) hope that this feature, which does not seem to have been missed 
by anybody in 8 years, might be considered sufficiently useful to grant 
addition someday...

Sincerely yours,

					Emmanuel Charpentier

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