Re: [Rd] Creating an environment with attributes in a package

From: Hadley Wickham <>
Date: Fri, 16 Jul 2010 14:32:38 +0200

On Fri, Jul 16, 2010 at 2:08 PM, Jon Clayden <> wrote:
> Dear all,
> I am trying to create an environment object with additional attributes, viz.
> Foo <- structure(new.env(), name="Foo")
> Doing this in a standard session works fine: I get the environment
> with attr(,"name") set as expected. But if the same code appears
> inside a package source file, I get just the plain environment with no
> attributes set. Using a non-environment object works as I would expect
> within the package (i.e. the attributes remain).
> I've looked through the documentation for reasons for this, and the
> only thing I've found is the mention in the language definition that
> "assigning attributes to an environment can lead to surprises". I'm
> not sure if this is one of the surprises that the author(s) had in
> mind! Could someone tell me whether this is expected, please?

You'll be much less surprised if you do:

Foo <- structure(list(new.env()), name="Foo")

Attributes on reference objects are also passed by reference, and surprises will result.


Assistant Professor / Dobelman Family Junior Chair
Department of Statistics / Rice University

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