[R] self documenting workspaces, and the proper role of the dot

Jonathan Baron baron at cattell.psych.upenn.edu
Mon Feb 19 11:31:20 CET 2001

The way I solve the problem of documentation is to write a
"program" (or "script") for everything, and include comments in
it (as outlined at the beginning of "Notes on the use of R for
psychology experiments..." in the "Contributed" section of CRAN).
The script has as many comments as I care to write (never
enough).  Then I run the script with "source()".  I do have to
copy, or "copy and paste", new ideas that I think up along the
way.  But the ratio of good ideas to bad ones is quite low, so I
would certainly not want to save everything I do, automatically.

This is roughtly the style used in the examples included with R.

Others in this list have recommended ESS for similar purposes
(Emacs Speaks Statistics), but I haven't tried it (for fear of
confusion, since I use Emacs for everything else).

As for dots, I don't know.  But it does seem that they are just
another character, in contrast to _, which is not.  They do not
have the meaning that they have in Perl or JavaScript.

Jonathan Baron, Professor of Psychology, University of Pennsylvania
Home page: http://www.sas.upenn.edu/~jbaron
r-help mailing list -- Read http://www.ci.tuwien.ac.at/~hornik/R/R-FAQ.html
Send "info", "help", or "[un]subscribe"
(in the "body", not the subject !)  To: r-help-request at stat.math.ethz.ch

More information about the R-help mailing list