Re: [Rd] A possible improvement to apropos

From: Robert Gentleman <rgentlem_at_fhcrc.org>
Date: Thu 14 Dec 2006 - 17:56:49 GMT

I would vastly prefer apropos to be case insensitive by default. The point of it is to find things similar to a string, not the same as, and given that capitalization in R is somewhat erratic (due to many authors, and some of those changing their minds over the years), I find the current apropos of little use.

I would also, personally prefer some sort of approximate matching since there are different ways to spell some words, and some folks abbreviate parts of words.

Martin Maechler wrote:
> Hi Seth,
>

>>>>>> "Seth" == Seth Falcon <sfalcon@fhcrc.org>
>>>>>>     on Wed, 13 Dec 2006 16:38:02 -0800 writes:

>
> Seth> Hello all, I've had the following apropos alternative
> Seth> in my ~/.Rprofile for some time, and have found it
> Seth> more useful than the current version. Basically, my
> Seth> version ignores case when searching.
>
> Seth> If others find this useful, perhaps apropos could be
> Seth> suitably patched (and I'd be willing to create such a
> Seth> patch).
>
> Could you live with typing 'i=T' (i.e. ignore.case=TRUE)?
>
> In principle, I'd like to keep the default as ignore.case=FALSE,
> since we'd really should teach the users that R
> *is* case sensitive.
> Ignoring case is the exception in the S/R/C world, not the rule
>
> I have a patch ready which implements your suggestion
> (but not quite with the code below), but as said, not as
> default.
>
> Martin
>
> Seth> + seth
>
> Seth> Here is my version of apropos:
>
>>> APROPOS <- function (what, where = FALSE, mode = "any") 
>>> {
>>>     if (!is.character(what))
>>>       stop("argument ", sQuote("what"), " must be a character vector")
>>>     x <- character(0)
>>>     check.mode <- mode != "any"
>>>     for (i in seq(search())) {
>>>         contents <- ls(pos = i, all.names = TRUE)
>>>         found <- grep(what, contents, ignore.case = TRUE, value = TRUE)
>>>         if (length(found)) {
>>>             if (check.mode) {
>>>                 found <- found[sapply(found, function(x) {
>>>                     exists(x, where = i, mode = mode, inherits = FALSE)
>>>                 })]
>>>             }
>>>             numFound <- length(found)
>>>             x <- c(x, if (where)
>>>                    structure(found, names = rep.int(i, numFound)) else found)
>>>         }
>>>     }
>>>     x
>>> }

>
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>
-- 
Robert Gentleman, PhD
Program in Computational Biology
Division of Public Health Sciences
Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center
1100 Fairview Ave. N, M2-B876
PO Box 19024
Seattle, Washington 98109-1024
206-667-7700
rgentlem@fhcrc.org

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Received on Fri Dec 15 12:34:56 2006

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