Re: [Rd] [R] Semantics of sequences in R

From: Stefan Evert <>
Date: Mon, 23 Feb 2009 12:12:39 +0100

Dear vQ,

> vectors (can-be-considered-lists),

can you please stop repeating this nonsense? I don't think anybody ever claimed that vectors can be considered list. It's rather the other way round: lists can also be seen as vectors to R (possibly they are implemented as such, but I don't much about the internals of R).

> a <- as.list(1:10)
> b <- 1:10
> is.vector(a)

[1] TRUE
> is.list(a)

[1] TRUE
> is.vector(b)

[1] TRUE
> is.list(b)

[1] FALSE Hence the confusion about

> mode(as.vector(a))

[1] "list"

which prompted the original comment that you are taking so much exception to.

> as to "it could only work in very specific circumstances" -- no, it
> would work for any list whatsoever, provided the user has a correctly
> implemented comparator.  for example, i'd like to sort a list of  
> vectors
> by the vectors' length -- is this a very exotic idea?

Honestly, I can't think of a situation where I would want to do than in R. In a Perl script, quite likely; but this is a kind of data manipulation that R wasn't really designed for IMHO.

Not that I'd mind having sort() operate properly on lists; it just isn't something I miss in the language.


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