[Rd] unexpected behaviour when defining a function

From: Deepayan Sarkar <deepayan.sarkar_at_gmail.com>
Date: Mon 11 Sep 2006 - 23:26:24 GMT


I know S manuals used to warn against using the same names for a variable and a function, but I have never seen that cause problems in R, so I usually don't pay much attention to it. Which is why the following behaviour came as a surprise:

> bar <- function() 1
> foo <- function(bar = bar()) {

+ bar
+ }
> foo(9)

[1] 9
> foo()

Error in foo() : recursive default argument reference

Exactly what rule am I violating here?

The following gives a slightly different error, but I assume it has a similar origin:

bar <- function() 1
foo <- function(bar) {
    if (missing(bar)) bar <- bar()


This version works fine though (so the rule probably involves function arguments somehow):

foo <- function(baz) {

    if (missing(baz)) {

        baz <- function() 2
        baz <- baz()



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