[R-pkg-devel] tibbles are not data frames

Hadley Wickham h.wickham at gmail.com
Tue Sep 26 17:33:22 CEST 2017

> I for one am happy this discussion pops up, because it's a piece of
> information I give to my students as well: convert to a data.frame when you
> start your analysis just to play safe. And this discussion shows why that is
> -for the time being!- a good advice. The moment tibbles become the default
> data format in R, or some R++, or in Julia for all I care, I'll be more than
> happy to burn that drop = FALSE on a stake. But for now we can't ignore the
> differences and the potential for conflicts when you try to use a tibble
> instead of a data.frame.

I think this is sub-optimal advice because most functions do work fine
with tibbles. It is only a few packages (largely written some time
ago) that don't. And typically, if they don't work with tibbles,
you'll get a (usually slightly confusing) error message because some
function will get a data frame instead of a vector. So as far I can
tell, you only need to as.data.frame() retrospectively, not
prospectively. Are you aware of any code that returns an incorrect
result (i.e. no error) when given a tibble instead of a data frame?



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