"Error: incorrect number of arguments to lambda"

Matthew Wiener mcw@ln.nimh.nih.gov
Fri, 17 Sep 1999 16:13:57 -0400 (EDT)

Hello, all.

I have a somewhat embarrassing error, in that I cannot reliably reproduce
it.  I have sporadically experienced the error both on an SGI machine
running Irix 6.5 and on a LinuxPPC machine.  I have only seen this error
using version 0.65.0.  (I've been using versions since 0.61 or so.)

The error message is in the subject line.  Here's the traceback from the
most recent occurrence:

Error: incorrect number of arguments to "lambda"  
> traceback()  
[1] "bxp(groups, width, varwidth = varwidth, notch = notch, border =
border, " 
[2] "  col = col, log = log, pars = pars, lwd = lwd, pch = pch, "  
[3] " lty = lty, p.size = p.size, ...)"  
[4] "boxplot(split(mf[[response]], mf[[-response]]), ...)" 
[5] "boxplot.formula(c.est ~ frac.vec, col = \"blue\", notch = T)" [6]

You'll notice that here I'm using a slightly modified version of bxp (I
wasn't able to figure out another way to change the line width of the
whiskers or the point size of outliers), but the same error occurred with
the original version.  Except then, when I reloaded my modified version,
the error vanished.  I haven't been able to make it happen again this

The error has occurred in several other functions as well -- the first
time I thought I'd just misinstalled, so I did it again.  Then I didn't
see the error for a while, and became complacent.  But now it's back.

Here's what I remember from the earlier occurrences:

I had a function calling several subroutines.  I got this error, and
traceback pointed at one of the subroutines.  I inserted a few print
statements to try to follow what was going on, after which the program got
through that subroutine with no problems, and gave me the "lambda" error
in the next subroutine.  Putting print statements in the next subroutine
bumped the error to the one after that.  That's when I reinstalled.  That
took care of it for a while, but it's now resurfaced on a couple of

The R online help has no function called lambda, nor does one come up in a
search through my environment.  I don't have any contributed packages
loaded, although I do have a collection of functions I use regularly, and
which I've used without incident until now.  Lambda sounds lispish, but I
can't figure out where to find it and look for it.

Needless to say, I will keep better notes next time this happens.  If
anyone has any ideas what it might be and how to fix it, that's great.
Otherwise, I'd like to know what sort of information I ought to collect so
that my report can be as useful as possible.



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