Re: [R] Why does "summary" show number of NAs as non-integer?

From: Earl F. Glynn <efg_at_stowers-institute.org>
Date: Wed 01 Jun 2005 - 23:41:05 EST

"Berton Gunter" <gunter.berton@gene.com> wrote in message news:200505312240.j4VMepGX000203@hertz.gene.com...
> summary() is an S3 generic that for your vector dispatches
> summary.default(). The output of summary default has class "table" and so
> calls print.table (print is another S3 generic). Look at the code of
> print.table() to see how it formats the output.

"Marc Schwartz" <MSchwartz@MedAnalytics.com> wrote in message news:1117582325.22595.175.camel@horizons.localdomain...
> On Tue, 2005-05-31 at 17:14 -0500, Earl F. Glynn wrote:

> > Why isn't the number of NA's just "2" instead of the "2.000" shown
above?

> "The same number of decimal places is used throughout a vector

I'm talking about how this should be designed. The current impementation may be to print a vector using generic logic, but why use generic logic to produce a wrong solution? Shouldn't correctness be more important than using a generic solution?

There is special logic to suppress NA's when they don't exist (see below), so why isn't there special logic to print the count of NAs, which MUST be an integer, correctly when they do exist?

An integer should NOT be displayed with meaningless decimal places. Why would this ever be desirable? The generic solution should be dropped in favor of a correct solution.

# Why not use special logic to show the number of NA's correctly as an integer?
> set.seed(19)
> summary( c(NA, runif(10,1,100), NaN) )

   Min. 1st Qu. Median Mean 3rd Qu. Max. NA's   7.771 24.850 43.040 43.940 63.540 83.830 2.000

# There is already special logic to suppress NA's
> set.seed(19)
> summary( runif(10,1,100) )

   Min. 1st Qu. Median Mean 3rd Qu. Max.   7.771 24.850 43.040 43.940 63.540 83.830

"2.000" and "2" do not have equivalent meaning.

efg



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