Re: [Rd] Getting param names of primitives

From: Duncan Murdoch <>
Date: Wed, 11 Jul 2007 10:11:04 -0400

On 7/11/2007 9:40 AM, Seth Falcon wrote:
> Prof Brian Ripley <> writes:

>> My problem is that if we make formals() work on primitives, people will 
>> expect
>> formals(log) <- value
>> to work, and it cannot.

> But it could give an informative error message. Asking for formals()
> seems to make sense so making it work seems like a good idea. I'll
> agree that it working might encourage someone to try formals<-(), but
> the fact that it cannot do anything but error seems like a strange
> reason not to make formals() work.

But primitives don't have formals, and that's why you can't set them. Having formals(primitive) work just makes it harder to talk about the language. Closures have formals, primitives don't. Both have args. If you want to work with the args of a function, use the args.

Duncan Murdoch mailing list Received on Wed 11 Jul 2007 - 14:21:37 GMT

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