Re: [R] The use of F for False and T for True

From: Duncan Murdoch <murdoch_at_stats.uwo.ca>
Date: Mon, 17 Nov 2008 08:25:58 -0500

On 17/11/2008 8:03 AM, hadley wickham wrote:
> On Sun, Nov 16, 2008 at 7:41 PM, Simon Blomberg <s.blomberg1@uq.edu.au> wrote:

>> It is better programming practice to use FALSE for false and TRUE for
>> true, and not F and T. This is because it is quite legal to do this:
>>
>> T <- FALSE
>> F <- TRUE

>
> It may be better programming practice, but is it better interactive
> data analysis practice? R isn't just a programming language, and
> there are lots of good reasons to provide shortcuts that reduce
> typing. It's very easy to forget that most people can't touch type at
> a decent speed, and every key press less helps them get their ideas
> from their head to the computer faster.

That would be an argument for T and F being the reserved words (as I think they are in S-PLUS). But since it's so easy to use T or F as a variable, the problems caused by using them as TRUE or FALSE are not negligible -- look at the original question in this thread, which was likely caused by using F as a variable.

Duncan Murdoch



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