Re: R-alpha: Misc problems

Z. Todd Taylor (
Tue, 18 Feb 1997 08:44:02 -0800

Date: Tue, 18 Feb 1997 08:44:02 -0800
From: (Z. Todd Taylor)
Subject: Re: R-alpha: Misc problems

Martyn Plummer <> wrote:

> At 20:53 17/02/97, wrote:
> >In the interests of compatibility I have already added code which
> >provides "stretchy" vectors and lists for the next version.  There is a
> >lot of code which uses this facility.  I have been checking our object
> >system code by running Bill Venables "polynomial" class code and it
> >uses this facility.
> This is a shame.  I understand that it is necessary for compatibility
> with S, but I really preferred the more rigorous approach of R. I found
> quite a few bugs running programs under R which slipped by unnoticed in S.
> Would it be possible to have an option which switches off stretchy vectors
> for people who want to write cleaner and more efficient code? And does
> anyone else want this?
> Martyn

I vote for the strechy vectors.  While efficiency is important,
a language like R (S) should err to the side of convenience.  Of
course, a nonstretchy *option* wouldn't bother me.

As for the issue of allowing bugs to slip through, strechiness
is nothing compared to subscripting by partial match.  That one
allows some of the most insidious of bugs.  Let's get rid of
that before we nail down the ends of our vectors.

Z. Todd Taylor
Pacific Northwest National Laboratory
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