Re: [R] how about a "<p-" operator?

From: Duncan Murdoch <murdoch.duncan_at_gmail.com>
Date: Thu, 31 Mar 2011 09:31:44 -0400

On 11-03-30 7:00 PM, Carl Witthoft wrote:
> I was cursing Matlab again today (what else is new) because the default
> action for every Matlab command is to spew the result to the console,
> and one must remember to put that darn ";" at the end of every line.
>
> So I just wondered: was there ever a discussion as to providing some
> modified version of the "<-" and "->" operators in R to do the reverse?
> That is, since R does not print the values of a command to the
> console, what if there were an operator such that
>
>
> newobject<p- somefunction()
>
> would do the same as
>
> print(newobject<- somefunction())
>
>
> Any thoughts?

Others have given alternatives. Just some comments on this particular proposal:

We already have a problem that

x<-3

is slightly ambiguous: does it mean

x <- 3 # yes

or

x < -3 # no

I think the compound operator <p- would just repeat this problem. What does

x<p-3

mean? If the amount of typing in print(x <- 3) is a problem, that's a user interface issue, so it should be addressed at the user interface level, not by changing the language. A front-end could make it easy to transform x <- 3 into the longer expression (or an equivalent), or just make it easy to examine the .Last.value variable.

Duncan Murdoch



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