Re: [R] How to get the function names

From: Duncan Murdoch <>
Date: Thu 05 Oct 2006 - 21:04:17 GMT

On 10/5/2006 4:41 PM, Søren Højsgaard wrote:
> I've defined the function
> getFunNames <- function(FUN){
> if (!is.list(FUN))
> fun.names <- paste(deparse(substitute(FUN)), collapse = " ")
> else
> fun.names <- unlist(lapply(substitute(FUN)[-1], function(a) paste(a)))
> fun.names
> }
> which gives what I want :

>> getFunNames(mean)

> [1] "mean"
>> getFunNames(ff)

> [1] "ff"
>> getFunNames(c(mean,ff))

> [1] "mean" "ff"
> If I call this within a function, things go wrong:
> 1] "FUN"
>> foo(ff)

> [1] "FUN"
>> foo(c(mean,ff))

> Error in substitute(FUN)[-1] : object is not subsettable
> Obviously there are some things (quite a few things) which I have not understood. Can anyone help?

I don't think you'll be able to do what you want. The problem is that R objects don't know their own name. "substitute" just gives you the unevaluated expression that was passed as an arg; so getFunNames is reporting on the expression in foo() that was used when it was called.

You'll need to call substitute directly on the args to get the expressions, rather than passing them to another function to do that.

In C code you have a bit more flexibility for non-standard evaluation, but not in R code.

Duncan Murdoch mailing list PLEASE do read the posting guide and provide commented, minimal, self-contained, reproducible code. Received on Fri Oct 06 07:45:02 2006

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