# hist(.) -- S compatibility : [a,b) versus (a,b] and ....

**Martin Maechler
**
Martin Maechler <maechler@stat.math.ethz.ch>

*Wed, 7 Jan 1998 10:24:06 +0100*

Looking at Albrech Gebhardt's bug report to R-help (Dec.23)
and proposal for improvement,
I've been also trying several examples and comparing results with S-plus.
Note that we have decided to NOT be fully compatible to S with our hist(.)
function since we found S to be really `wrong' and `unuseful':
S: - The value returned by hist(.) depends on plot=T or plot=F
R: - We return a list(.) either way which contains additional useful things
anyway, see, hist(.) in 0.60 or 0.61.
- we will have a ``label = FALSE'' argument as proposed by Albrecht
However, there are several incompatibilities:
1) S uses half-open (a,b] intervals
where for the left most cell, [a,b] is used when
``include.lowest = T'' (which is default).
R currently uses half-open [a,b) intervals.
I propose to change R here, including the "include.lowest = TRUE" argument
2) S has ``probability = F'',
we have ``freq = NULL'' (which defaults to FALSE for equidistant breaks
and TRUE for non-equidistant breaks).
I think we don't want to change the better default here.
I wonder if we should change the argument name from 'freq' to 'probability'
---------
If I don't hear objections or better proposals from you,
I'll change "1)" and leave "2)".
Martin Maechler <maechler@stat.math.ethz.ch> <><
Seminar fuer Statistik, SOL G1
ETH (Federal Inst. Technology) 8092 Zurich SWITZERLAND
phone: x-41-1-632-3408 fax: ...-1086
http://www.stat.math.ethz.ch/~maechler/
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