Re: [R] Scope and sapply

From: Gabor Grothendieck <ggrothendieck_at_gmail.com>
Date: Sat, 12 Jun 2010 22:30:09 -0400

On Sat, Jun 12, 2010 at 9:22 PM, Worik R <worikr_at_gmail.com> wrote:
> I am puzzled by the scope rules that apply with sapply.
>
> If I want to modify a vector with sapply I tried...
>
> N <- 10
> vec <- vector(mode="numeric", length=N)
> test <- function(i){
>  vec[i] <- i
> }
> sapply(1:N, test)
> vec
>
> but it not work.
>

If we modify a variable inside a function R makes a local copy of that variable rather than modifying the original one. Try this instead. The first one uses <<- to tell it to search into parent environments for vec and the second one tells it explicitly which environment to use.

vec <- rep(0, 10)
test2 <- function(i) vec[i] <<- i
junk <- sapply(1:N, test2)
vec

vec <- rep(0, 10)
test3 <- function(i, env) env$vec[i] <- i junk <- sapply(1:N, test3, env = environment()) vec



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