Re: [Rd] Wishlist: 'quietly' argument for .onAttach() / .First.lib()

From: Peter Ruckdeschel <Peter.Ruckdeschel_at_uni-bayreuth.de>
Date: Thu 13 Apr 2006 - 16:13:50 GMT


Andy Liaw wrote:
> From: Prof Brian Ripley
> >/
> />/ On Thu, 13 Apr 2006, Peter Ruckdeschel wrote:
> />/
> />/ > Hi R-devels,
> />/ >
> />/ > in "Writing R extensions" as well as in the help
> />/ > to .onAttach(), you mention that one could
> />/ > use this function to issue a start-up message/banner
> />/ > for the package.
> />/ >
> />/ > My little wish for Easter:
> />/ >
> />/ > a 'quietly'-type argument for .onAttach() / .First.lib() which is
> />/ > passed through by functions
> />/ > require() and library() respectively,
> />/ > and by means of which one could optionally
> />/ > suppress this start-up message/banner .
> />/ >
> />/ > Is this hard to do?
> />/
> />/ I believe so (and think we have been here before). /
sorry, but I did not find anything on it --- probably I searched for the wrong keywords.

> /> The //documented call //sequence is
> />/
> />/ .onLoad(libname, pkgname)
> />/ .onAttach(libname, pkgname)
> />/
> />/ the same as .First.lib. There is no way to add an argument
> />/ here, as many //existing packages do not support it.
> /
Couldn't a reasonable default value (probably FALSE ) catch this?

> /> Beyond that, how would / /you pass the
> />/ argument in? Namespaces and packages are often
> />/ loaded/attached implicitly //as a result of loading other packages.
> /
oK this is an issue --- no idea for this.

> >/ I did think you could make use of an option to decide whether
> />/ to the print //the message or not,
> /
This is probably the cleanest solution.

> /> but I have always assumed that those who
> />/ did want a //banner probably did not want it suppressed.
> /
> That certainly is the case with randomForest, speaking for myself
> here. The banner I put in contains the version number of the
> package and a reminder to see what's been changed/fixed. I have
> not seen a compelling reason why suppressing such information is
> necessary (as opposed to "desirable"). I believe reporting
> version number upon startup is a Good Thing, as all too often
> people ask questions or report problems about packages without
> mentioning the version of the packages they used. I see this as
> a way of reminding the users.
>
I completely agree as to package version information and pointers to NEWS / more information on the package.

My wish is motivated by something else --- call it  

           /"scalable start-up message"/

In a discussion with Martin Maechler, he proposed to alert/warn the user in some prominent place about the interpretation of arithmetics operating on distributions in our package "distr".

I have been thinking about this "prominent place" for some time and found that an .onAttach() message might be the right place.

A user, however, who is already used to this interpretation, will soon find this (extended) start-up message annoying and will want to suppress it.

I could do this with a "hand-made" option but thought this might be of more general interest.

Thank you for your attention,
Peter



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https://stat.ethz.ch/mailman/listinfo/r-devel Received on Fri Apr 14 02:44:16 2006

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