R-alpha: A Couple of Queries

Ross Ihaka ihaka@stat.auckland.ac.nz
Fri, 16 May 1997 08:18:44 +1200 (NZST)

> > I have not done anything about name-space clutter, but I have a couple
> > of ideas on name hiding which might be possible ( basically, every
> > library would have to "export" the names it wanted to be visible to
> > users).

> This is certainly nice in principle, though not tremendously important at
> the moment. It would be convenient to be able to declare functions in a
> library that are global to the library but not accessible to the outside
> world. 

This is what I had in mind.  The functions in the library (and those
exported) could see all functions and data in the library, but only the
exported objects would be visible globally.  Of course, R scoping
can be used to provide this kind privacy, but you have to think
about setting up the libraries more carefully.

> > 2) I am going ahead with implementing saving and restoring of data in
> > XDR format, so that there will be less trouble with heterogeneous Unix
> > networks.  Because the format of saved files will change, we must
> > either be incompatible or have some mechanism for restoring old save
> > files.  I would rather avoid the compatibility route if possible.
> > Would anyone be seriously inconvenienced if old data files could not
> > be restored?  (Its not hard to build in compatibility, it would just
> > take time which could be spend elsewhere).

> For my purposes dump() will work fine for transferring old data files.

> Will the changes give cross-platform (Mac/Win) portability too?

This will depend on the availability of the XDR library for those
platforms.  I seem to recall that XDR is available for Windows at least.

I'm rather more concerned with Unix because it is common to have a mix
of platforms accessing the same data under Unix.
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