R-alpha: Re^2: data file names

Robert Gentleman rgentlem@stat.auckland.ac.nz
Wed, 3 Dec 1997 10:00:30 +1300 (NZDT)

> 	[R-devel'ers:  spill over from R-core .. -- MM]
> >>>>> "KH" == Kurt Hornik <Kurt.Hornik@ci.tuwien.ac.at> writes:
> >>>>> Robert Gentleman writes:
>     >> In preparing the next Windows release I want to make opening up
>     >> system data files (and their documentation) more transparent. I
>     >> would really like to adopt the convention that data files use the
>     >> suffix .rdf (.dat seems like it's taken). This will make it easier
>     >> to get the builtin Windows file browsers to work on it and save me
>     >> some considerable work trying to figure out what is and isn't a data
>     >> file.
>     KH> What does `rdf' stand for?
> R Data File ?
> But why can't it just be `.R'  (-> `.r' in the ...OS)?
> At least currently, these are simply files with valid  R code.
> If they would end in `.R', ESS (Emacs Speaks Statistics) would
> automatically be put in the proper mode.
> Of course, we could also use a new ending,
> but I think this would only make sense if the data files would internally
> use a different format,
> e.g.,  data.dump / data.restore, or one which works with  read.table.

I agree with Martin. I would be happy with .R initially and later we could
add other suffixes if we have different data formats. I was just going to
slurp them in through source.
>     >> It would also be nice if one of you great documentation folks
>     >> thought of a html-like format for the .doc files so that I could
>     >> simply pop them up. This would also ideally let index.doc be built
>     >> on the fly....
> yes
>     >> I find it quite frustrating that I can't peek at the doc file while
>     >> trying to decide which data file I want.
> Hmm; in 0.60 we at least have
> 	data()
> for the list
> and
> 	?foodata
> for the doc in foodata.doc.  This does already help me quite a bit..
>     >> I'm hoping to get a browser
>     >> that will let you peruse the documentation while selecting the file.
>     >> Comments/opinions appreciated.
>     KH> You are obviously right.  I think what we want is to have a unified
>     KH> documentation format for both functions (which is what we have
>     KH> until now been focussing on) and variables (``data files'').  In
>     KH> the not too long run, will we be able to attach data directories so
>     KH> that we can really treat the data files as variable objects?
> Do you mean binary data files?  Or would they be `compiled' 
> 	from src/library/<pkg>/data/
> 	to   library/<pkg>/data/  ?
>     KH> Anyway, I just realized that all .doc files now have the structure
>     KH> so it seems that we only need to add \format{} and \source{} to the
>     KH> Rd standard.
> yes; this would be one thing; the other being a script (or a person ..)
> for translating all current the foodata.doc to foodata.Rd ...
> But __YES__ , the earlier, the better  (but ``post release'');
> I'd like to have this BEFORE the following is completely solved ..

I agree post 0.60 release (but somethings will have to slip in to the Windows
release of 0.60. I can't believe how hard it is to keep the two in sync. It 
would be handy if we could put the .R's on the data files before the release.
I could live with messy documentation but I really don't want to drop down
into the nuts and bolts of some of the windows dialog code.

>     KH> And, well, to document the format we really need
>     KH> tables.  FL, MM, what is the right way to do these?
> As with \itemize , \enumerate and \describe
> 	(do they work now in HTML,  Fritz? -- would be nice for release ...).
> HTML and LaTeX are `obvious'
> (we  shouldn't be too fancy, I think, just use a common denominator of
> 	\begin{tabular}{..} ... \end{tabular}  and <TABLE> ...
>         Fritz will have to look at (a newer version of) latex2html once more)
> and the real problem is  nroff.
>  (yes, I do want to have simple fast online help using C-c C-v in ESS .
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