[Rd] unlink in 1.2

Paul Gilbert pgilbert@bank-banque-canada.ca
Tue, 10 Oct 2000 15:30:32 -0400

>R for Windows:

>unlink deleted files and empty directories in recent versions, only files
>in earlier ones.

>Given the last, the default behaviour of unlink under R is not what you
>claim, so I suppose that your code is not fully R-compatible under 1.1.1?

Actually, I was just going by what R prior to 1.2 does in Solaris (i.e. delete
directories, empty or not) and what the R 1.2 documentation says:


    Prior to R version 1.2.0 the default on Unix was recursive = TRUE, and on
    Windows wmpty (sic) directories could be deleted.

In any case, the behavior of unlink seems to be inconsistent in various versions

of S and R and on different platforms. In this situation it is very difficult to

program with the function and I have usually found that it is better  to define
a good new function, try to make it consistent across platforms, and depreciate
the old function. I will do at least an S version of that in my compatability
library but I think it would be good for R if it were done in the base. Don't
you think Sys.rm would be a good name?

Paul Gilbert

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