RE: [R] R annoyances

From: John Fox <>
Date: Fri 20 May 2005 - 05:10:53 EST

Dear Jan,

Since you can use variables named c, q, or t in any event, I don't see why the existence of functions with these names is much of an impediment.

The problem that I see with T and F is that allowing them to be redefined sets a trap for people. If R wants to discourage use of T and F for TRUE and FALSE, then why provide standard global variables by these names? On the other hand, if providing T and F is considered desirable (e.g., for S-PLUS compatibility), then why not make them reserved names?


John Fox
Department of Sociology
McMaster University
Hamilton, Ontario
Canada L8S 4M4

> -----Original Message-----
> From: Jan T. Kim []
> Sent: Thursday, May 19, 2005 12:22 PM
> To: John Fox
> Subject: Re: [R] R annoyances
> On Thu, May 19, 2005 at 11:55:22AM -0400, John Fox wrote:
> > Dear Uwe,
> >
> > I've often wondered why T and F aren't reserved words in R
> as TRUE and
> > FALSE are. Perhaps there's some use of T and F as
> variables, but that
> > seems ill-advised.
> Personally, I'd rather argue the other way around: Reserved
> words should be words that should be more unique and
> expressive than just a single letter.
> In fact, I've found it slightly irritating at times that c, q
> and t are functions in the base package, as I'm somewhat
> prone to use all of these as local variable names...
> Best regards, Jan
> --
> +- Jan T. Kim
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