Re: [R] Glossay of available R functions

From: Prof Brian Ripley <>
Date: Fri 03 Feb 2006 - 18:11:42 EST

On Thu, 2 Feb 2006, Patricia J. Hawkins wrote:

>>>>>> "JB" == Jonathan Baron <> writes:
> JB> In addition, the search page at
> JB>
> JB> can search all functions of all CRAN packages.
> JB> This is also available through
> JB> RSiteSearch(string,restrict="functions").
> Thank you all! In fact, what I was looking for was just the glossary
> of objects in the base package; the effective equivalent of the Python
> Standard Library, or for C, Harbison & Steele's _C, A Reference Manual_.

Those are misleading analogies (not least because C has an ISO standard giving all the functions/macros you can expect to find in C). It is like saying you want to know about libc and not libm, despite the latter being described in the ISO standard and in Harbison & Steele.

> I assume that's what the original poster wanted too, since he was

I would assume other people were able to express themselves accurately.

> commenting that subset was new to him, though he did say "list of
> functions in R". I'd searched through everything _else_ in the help
> system looking for such a glossary; I hadn't thought to look under
> *Packages*, as those are, of course, add-ons.

`Of course' is incorrect here. Everything in R is in a package.

> So a comment such as "For an index of R basic objects, see the 'base'
> package under *Packages*" on the help.start() index page would be
> helpful.

But (as I originally pointed out), that is not a correct interpretation of `basic'. It might have been in R 1.8.0, but the 'base' package is now intended to support only some scripting operations (where speed is essential so it is minimal). Unlike Python, R is not primarily a scripting language.

The analogue of the Python Standard Library is I think the standard packages.

> Also perhaps a link from the Language Reference Manual,
> since that's where I looked first.
> By the way, in general the documentation and help facilities are
> stellar.
> --
> Patricia J. Hawkins
> Hawkins Internet Applications

Brian D. Ripley,        
Professor of Applied Statistics,
University of Oxford,             Tel:  +44 1865 272861 (self)
1 South Parks Road,                     +44 1865 272866 (PA)
Oxford OX1 3TG, UK                Fax:  +44 1865 272595

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Received on Fri Feb 03 18:27:44 2006

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