Re: [Rd] Surprising length() of POSIXlt vector (PR#14073)

From: Benilton Carvalho <bcarvalh_at_jhsph.edu>
Date: Fri, 20 Nov 2009 00:58:32 -0200

Steve,

I'm no expert on this, but my understanding is that the choice was to stick to the definition.

The help file for length() [1] says:

"For vectors (including lists) and factors the length is the number of elements."

The help file for POSIXlt [2] (for example) says:

"Class "POSIXlt" is a named list of vectors representing (...)"

and then lists the 9 elements (sec / min / hour / mday / mon / year / wday / yday / isdst).

So, by [1] length of POSIXlt objects is 9, because it "is a named list of vectors representing (...)".

b

On Nov 20, 2009, at 12:19 AM, Steven McKinney wrote:

>
> I've checked the archives, and this problem crops up every
> few months going back for years.
>
> What I was not able to find was an explanation of why a
> function such as
> length.POSIXlt <- function(x) { length(x$sec) }
> is a Bad Idea, or what it would break. listserv threads
> seem to end without presenting an answer. R News 2001
> Vol 1/2 discusses that "lots of methods are needed..."
> (page 11) but I haven't found discussion of why a length
> method isn't feasible.
>
> Can anyone clarify this, or point me at the right
> archive or documentation source that discusses why
> objects of class POSIXlt always need to return a
> length of 9?
>
> Thanks
> Steve McKinney
>
>
>> -----Original Message-----
>> From: r-devel-bounces_at_r-project.org [mailto:r-devel-bounces_at_r-
>> project.org] On Behalf Of Benilton Carvalho
>> Sent: Thursday, November 19, 2009 4:29 PM
>> To: mark_at_celos.net
>> Cc: r-devel_at_stat.math.ethz.ch
>> Subject: Re: [Rd] Surprising length() of POSIXlt vector (PR#14073)
>>
>> Check the documentation and the archives. Not a bug. b
>>
>> On Nov 19, 2009, at 8:30 PM, mark_at_celos.net wrote:
>>
>>> Arrays of POSIXlt dates always return a length of 9. This
>>> is correct (they're really lists of vectors of seconds,
>>> hours, and so forth), but other methods disguise them as
>>> flat vectors, giving superficially surprising behaviour:
>>>
>>> strings <- paste('2009-1-', 1:31, sep='')
>>> dates <- strptime(strings, format="%Y-%m-%d")
>>>
>>> print(dates)
>>> # [1] "2009-01-01" "2009-01-02" "2009-01-03" "2009-01-04"
>>> "2009-01-05"
>>> # [6] "2009-01-06" "2009-01-07" "2009-01-08" "2009-01-09"
>>> "2009-01-10"
>>> # [11] "2009-01-11" "2009-01-12" "2009-01-13" "2009-01-14"
>>> "2009-01-15"
>>> # [16] "2009-01-16" "2009-01-17" "2009-01-18" "2009-01-19"
>>> "2009-01-20"
>>> # [21] "2009-01-21" "2009-01-22" "2009-01-23" "2009-01-24"
>>> "2009-01-25"
>>> # [26] "2009-01-26" "2009-01-27" "2009-01-28" "2009-01-29"
>>> "2009-01-30"
>>> # [31] "2009-01-31"
>>>
>>> print(length(dates))
>>> # [1] 9
>>>
>>> str(dates)
>>> # POSIXlt[1:9], format: "2009-01-01" "2009-01-02" "2009-01-03"
>>> "2009-01-04" ...
>>>
>>> print(dates[20])
>>> # [1] "2009-01-20"
>>>
>>> print(length(dates[20]))
>>> # [1] 9
>>>
>>> I've since realised that POSIXct makes date vectors easier,
>>> but could we also have something like:
>>>
>>> length.POSIXlt <- function(x) { length(x$sec) }
>>>
>>> in datetime.R, to avoid breaking functions (like the
>>> str.POSIXt method) which use length() in this way?
>>>
>>> Thanks,
>>> Mark <><
>>>
>>> ------
>>>
>>> Version:
>>> platform = i686-pc-linux-gnu
>>> arch = i686
>>> os = linux-gnu
>>> system = i686, linux-gnu
>>> status =
>>> major = 2
>>> minor = 10.0
>>> year = 2009
>>> month = 10
>>> day = 26
>>> svn rev = 50208
>>> language = R
>>> version.string = R version 2.10.0 (2009-10-26)
>>>
>>> Locale:
>>> C
>>>
>>> Search Path:
>>> .GlobalEnv, package:stats, package:graphics, package:grDevices,
>>> package:utils, package:datasets, package:methods, Autoloads,
>>> package:base
>>>
>>> ______________________________________________
>>> R-devel_at_r-project.org mailing list
>>> https://stat.ethz.ch/mailman/listinfo/r-devel
>>
>> ______________________________________________
>> R-devel_at_r-project.org mailing list
>> https://stat.ethz.ch/mailman/listinfo/r-devel



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https://stat.ethz.ch/mailman/listinfo/r-devel Received on Fri 20 Nov 2009 - 03:01:08 GMT

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