Apropos names.

Peter Dalgaard BSA p.dalgaard@biostat.ku.dk
19 Mar 1998 18:44:14 +0100

(from R-core)
> Btw, why can't object names contain a `@'?
> -k

Speaking of names. I've been thinking whether it would not at some
point be wise to introduce namespaces into R. This would pretty
obviously break a lot of S code, but it would also make it possible to
avoid a lot of silly problems such as naming one's variables c, t, pt,
df, rm, ... 

A plan that might work relatively smoothly could involve:

- Separate functions from variables. We already do that to some extent
  ("looking for object of mode function...") [At the same time, one
  might get rid of everyone's favourite quirk: forgetting () and
  thus listing the function instead of calling it. I know: basic
  design, functions are just objects, etc., but really: Wouldn't it be
  nicer to type view(ls) the few times you actually wanted to see its

- All system functions and variables are really named something like
  sys::c() i.e. we introduce a namespace separator ::.
  Functions/variables that are intended for general use can be made
  public, by a special call.

- Assignments (interactive) to an existing public name causes a
  warning to be issued (or maybe an error).

   O__  ---- Peter Dalgaard             Blegdamsvej 3  
  c/ /'_ --- Dept. of Biostatistics     2200 Cph. N   
 (*) \(*) -- University of Copenhagen   Denmark      Ph: (+45) 35327918
~~~~~~~~~~ - (p.dalgaard@biostat.ku.dk)             FAX: (+45) 35327907

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