R-alpha: boxplot(..., varwidth = TRUE, ...) in 0.50a4

Douglas Bates bates@stat.wisc.edu
Wed, 24 Sep 1997 17:16:06 -0500 (CDT)

To use Ron Ziegler's famous phrase, that argument is "no longer
operative".  The code for the bxp function, which is what is called to
actually do the plotting, has a section

  if (!is.null(width)) {
    if (length(width) != n | any(is.na(width)) | 
	any(width <= 0)) 
      stop("invalid boxplot widths")
    width <- 0.8 * width/max(width)
  else if (varwidth) {
    width <- 0.8 * sqrt(z[[i]]$n/nmax)
  if (n == 1) 
    width <- 0.4
  else width <- rep(0.8, n)

The effect of either an explicit "width" argument or a TRUE "varwidth"
argument is being overridden in the next statement.

Since the default value of "width" is NULL, I think this can be
repaired by replacing the last three lines shown there by

  if (is.null(width)) {
    if (n == 1)
      width <- 0.4
    else width <- rep(0.8, n)

P.S. For those of you who don't know who Ron Ziegler was (which means
you are too young to remember Watergate), he was Richard Nixon's press
secretary.  When it was shown that a statement he had made to the
press the previous day was an outright lie he responded, "That
statement is no longer operative.".
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