Re: [Rd] library( ) and verbose=

From: Prof Brian Ripley <>
Date: Sun 11 Jul 2004 - 22:00:34 EST

On Sun, 11 Jul 2004, Frank E Harrell Jr wrote:

> The Hmisc package has in its .First.lib function a verbose argument,
> which I thought was the way to allow users to suppress certain messages,
> by issuing library(Hmisc, verbose=FALSE). But I see that library( )

> does not pass verbose to .First.lib. The default for verbose in Hmisc

> is TRUE because .First.lib prints some important information about

> masked functions. What is the best way to fix this? Is it reasonable
> to expect library to pass verbose along? I'm running R 1.9 on debian.

No. It is not documented to, and .First.lib (in R or S) has only two documented arguments so it would not be possible to do this in a backwards-compatible way. (If we passed ... along, then using library(foo, verbose=FALSE) would fail for almost all packages foo with a .First.lib function.)

We normally suggest that such options are handled by setting an environment variable or perhaps an option (e.g. option(Hmisc.verbose = FALSE)).

Brian D. Ripley,        
Professor of Applied Statistics,
University of Oxford,             Tel:  +44 1865 272861 (self)
1 South Parks Road,                     +44 1865 272866 (PA)
Oxford OX1 3TG, UK                Fax:  +44 1865 272595

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