Re: [Rd] proposed changes to RSiteSearch

From: spencerg <>
Date: Thu, 04 Jun 2009 10:38:37 -0700

Gabor Grothendieck wrote:

> On Thu, Jun 4, 2009 at 12:13 PM, Duncan Murdoch <> wrote:

>> Gabor Grothendieck wrote:
>>> On Thu, Jun 4, 2009 at 1:58 AM, Duncan Murdoch <> >>> wrote: >>> >>> >>>> spencerg wrote: >>>> >>>> >>>>> Hello All: >>>>> >>>>> What do you think of adding a function "RSiteSeach" to the package >>>>> of >>>>> that name, masking the "RSiteSearch" function in "utils", trapping any >>>>> call >>>>> RSiteSearch('searchstring', 'function') to the current >>>>> RSiteSearch.function >>>>> and passing all others to "utils:::RSiteSearch"? This was suggested by >>>>> a >>>>> referee to a manuscript on this new capability submitted to "R Journal". >>>>> The current version of this manuscript is available via >>>>> "system.file('doc', >>>>> 'RSiteSearch.pdf', package='RSiteSearch')" if you have the "RSiteSearch" >>>>> package installed. >>>>> >>>>> >>>> I suppose this depends on your long term plans for the function and >>>> package. >>>> If you think it should eventually replace the utils function, then it >>>> makes >>>> sense to use the same name: users won't get used to a new name in the >>>> meantime. But if you think it will diverge from that function, then you >>>> might as well pick a separate name now. >>>> >>>> I disagree with Gabor about this being heavy handed, at least while it is >>>> the only significant export in the package. If people don't want it, >>>> don't >>>> attach the package. >>>> >>>> >>>> >>> The last sentence only gives you a choice of clobbering the existing >>> function or not using it and that is not very nice. What is wanted is >>> both to be able to use it and allow it to coexist in a nice way. >>> >>>

>> It is essentially a rename of the existing one to utils::RSiteSearch. I
>> would only suggest this if RSiteSearch::RSiteSearch expanded on its
>> capabilities (which I think was Spencer's proposal), rather than replacing
>> them with something different.

>>> How about R changing its RSiteSearch to be an S3 generic with the >>> main functionality being placed into RSiteSearch.default? Then >>> RSiteSearch.function can become RsiteSearch.character and >>> - RSiteSearch will give the new functionality when the package is >>> loaded and the old functionality if not. >>> - RSiteSearch.character can be used in place of RSiteSearch.function >>> to force only the new functionality (or an error if not present) >>> - RSiteSearch.default will give the old functionality whether or not the >>> package is loaded >>> >>> (If there is a NAMESPACE then Its assumed here that both methods are >>> exported.) >>> >>>

>> How is that an improvement? Just replace your (RSiteSearch,
>> RSiteSearch.character, RSiteSearch.default) with (RSiteSearch,
>> RSiteSearch::RSiteSearch, utils::RSiteSearch) in my proposal and you get the
>> same behaviour. The point isn't that Spencer has invented a way for
>> RSiteSearch to handle character vectors, it already knows that. The point
>> is that he has enhanced it. Or maybe he has written something similar but
>> different, in which case he should pick a new name.
>> Duncan Murdoch

> > He simply renames it RSiteSearch.character (and possibly some other > changes depending on arguments). Then if the core cooperates > by making RSiteSearch a generic with a default method then everything > works as one would expect based on an understanding of S3. > > No conflicts in names are involved. > > To clarify: RSiteSearch.function{RSiteSearch} accesses Johathan Baron's
RSiteSearch data base for functions only, returning the result as a data.frame, sorts it to put the most frequently cited package first and then help page within package.


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