[R] converting result of substitute to 'ordidnary' expression

From: Vadim Ogranovich <vogranovich_at_jumptrading.com>
Date: Fri, 25 Jun 2010 19:59:05 -0500


Dear R users,

As substitute() help page points out:

     Substituting and quoting often causes confusion when the argument
     is 'expression(...)'. The result is a call to the 'expression'
     constructor function and needs to be evaluated with 'eval' to give
     the actual expression object.

And indeed I am confused. Consider:

> dat <- data.frame(x=1:10, y=1:10)

> subsetexp <- substitute(a<x, list(a=5))

## this doesn't work
> subset(dat, subsetexp)

Error in subset.data.frame(dat, subsetexp) :   'subset' must evaluate to logical

## this does work (thanks to the help page), but one needs to remember to call eval
> subset(dat, eval(subsetexp))

Is there a way to create subsetexp that needs no eval inside the call to subset()?

I experimented with the following, but it didn't work:
> subsetexp <- eval(substitute(a<x, list(a=5)))
Error in eval(expr, envir, enclos) : object 'x' not found

Thank you very much for your help,
Vadim

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