Re: [R] R annoyances

From: Jan T. Kim <jtk_at_cmp.uea.ac.uk>
Date: Fri 20 May 2005 - 23:42:57 EST

On Fri, May 20, 2005 at 08:14:24AM -0400, Liaw, Andy wrote:
> > From: Robin Hankin
> >
> > On May 20, 2005, at 11:00 am, Jan T. Kim wrote:
> >
> > > On Thu, May 19, 2005 at 03:10:53PM -0400, John Fox wrote:
> > >
> > >> 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.
> > >
> > > True, particularly since I'm not too likely to use these
> > variables for
> > > (local)
> > > functions, and variables of other types don't prevent
> > functions from
> > > working.
> > > (I thought this was a problem... I must be spoilt by
> > recently having
> > > to read
> > > too much Matlab code, where parentheses are used to both enclose
> > > subscripts and
> > > parameter lists, thus rendering subscript expressions and function
> > > calls
> > > syntactically indistinguishable.)
> >
> >
> > Heh, I'm a recovering Matlab user too. This is sooooooooooo true!
> >
> > In Matlab:
> >
> > f(10) # function f() evaluated at 10
> > f(10) # 10th element of vector f. confusing!!
> >
> > R uses round brackets in two unrelated ways:
> >
> > 4*(1+2) --- using "(" and ")" to signify grouping
> > f(8) function f() evaluated at 8.
> >
> > where there is no reason to use the same parenthesis symbol for both
> > tasks.
>
> The same is done in Fortran/C/C++/Java/Python and God knows how many
> others...

And this is different from the subscripting / function call ambiguity, as these languages (to the extent I know them) are designed such that parentheses for precedence control are syntactically distinguishable from those used for function parameter lists: If the opening parenthesis is preceded by an identifier, that identifier is a function name and the parenthesis opens a parameter list.

(Python is a somewhat messy case, though, because it uses parentheses for tuples too.)

Best regards, Jan

-- 
 +- Jan T. Kim -------------------------------------------------------+
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 |    *NEW*    WWW:   http://www.cmp.uea.ac.uk/people/jtk             |
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Received on Fri May 20 23:04:50 2005

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