Re: [R] Indexing column of a matrix with infix $

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From: Douglas Bates (bates@stat.wisc.edu)
Date: Sun 09 May 2004 - 05:27:26 EST


Message-id: <6r4qqqra75.fsf@bates4.stat.wisc.edu>

chris1 <chris1@psyctc.org> writes:

> I'm using 1.9.0 on Windoze 2k and I created a numeric matrix and used
> colnames() to give it some column names, but if I try to select a
> column using matrixname$validname I get a null return but if I use
> matrixname[,4] it works fine. Looking at the help I think this is
> because a matrix is not a recursive structure and I think it's saying
> I shouldn't be surprised nor attempt this.
>
> I'm in the process of transferring all my stats work to R having used
> a mixture of SPSS, S and SAS (and snippets of other things) over the
> years so sorry if I'm being dumb but this surprised me and I'd love a
> kindly explanation as I thought indexing a matrix in this way was
> something I did regularly (I think the last time was actually using it
> on a dataframe though) and I also think it would be useful and produce
> more readable code if I could.
>
> Can some kindly soul explain?

As Roger indirectly indicated in his response, you probably want to
use data frames and not matrices to store your data sets. In the S
language the data frame is analogous to the SAS data set.

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