Re: [Rd] typo in docs for unlink()

From: Tony Plate <>
Date: Tue, 10 Nov 2009 21:16:39 -0700

PS, I should have said that I'm reading the docs for unlink in R-2.10.0 on a Linux system. The docs that appear in a Windows installation of R are different (the Windows docs do not mention that not all systems support recursive=TRUE).

Here's a plea for docs to be uniform across all systems! Trying to write R code that works on all systems is much harder when the docs are different across systems, and you might only see system specific notes on a different system than the one you're working on.

Tony Plate wrote:
> The VALUE section in the help for 'unlink' says:
> | 0| for success, |1| for failure. Not deleting a non-existent file
> is not a failure, nor is being unable to delete a directory if
> |recursive = FALSE|. However, missing values in |x| result are
> regarded as failures.
> The last phrase doesn't make sense to me. Should it be either
> "missing values in x are regarded as failures" or "missing values in x
> result in failure" ?
> Also, after reading the docs, I'm still unable to work out if unlink()
> will return 1 when the user tries to recursively delete a directory on
> systems that don't support recursive=T.
> The DETAILS section says "recursive=TRUE is not supported on all
> platforms, and may be ignored, with a warning", which could be
> interpreted as implying no special action when recursive=TRUE is not
> implemented (other than a warning()), and the VALUE section doesn't
> say what the return value will be under such conditions.
> I've skimmed the various *_unlink functions in src/main/platform.c,
> and it looks like they all implement recursive=TRUE, so I'm still in
> the dark about the required behavior on systems that don't support
> it. Could this be clarified in the help file?
> thanks,
> Tony Plate
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> mailing list Received on Wed 11 Nov 2009 - 04:23:18 GMT

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