[Rd] Interpretation of escaped characters in \examples{}

Gordon Smyth smyth at wehi.edu.au
Tue Jun 10 01:45:37 MEST 2003

At 05:56 PM 9/06/2003, Kurt Hornik wrote:
> > When going from the help file to rendered code, double backlashes are
> > now left as-is. Single backslashes are removed, *except* for "\b",
> > "\n", "\r" and "\f". Escaped t's, "\t" are converted to actual tabs.
>Going from help to rendered code means via example()?  What happens
>there is that is R-ex file is *sourced*, i.e., parsed and evaluated, so
>what we see is what R does.

Fair enough. What was confusing me was that what is echoed by example() is 
not exactly the same as what is in the R-ex file. I guess what happens is 
that the commands are cleaned up by removing extraneous backlashes. So what 
is executed by 'example()' is not necessarily identical as a string of 
characters to what is in the R-ex file but is functionally equivalent to it 
as an R expression.

There seems to be a separate issue with tabs in Windows, see below.

> > Is this all as it is supposed to be? The conversion of \t to <tab>
> > does seem a potential problem.
> > The conversion of \t to <tab> occurs in other examples of rendering
> > code also, for example:
> >> myfun <- function(x,pattern="\t") "hello"
> >> args(myfun)
> > function (x, pattern = "        ")
>I cannot reproduce this: if I add
>f <- function(x = "\t") "hello"
>to eda/R-ex/line.R and do example("line", "eda") I get
>line> f <- function(x = "\t") "hello"
>line> args(f)
>function (x = "\t")
>without the tab being expanded ...

The expansion of \t to tab may be specific to Windows. The above examples 
reproduce for me in
Windows (R 1.7.0 patched or R 1.6.2) but don't reproduce in linux (R 
1.7.0). The simplest example of expansion in R for Windows (R 1.7.0 patched 
or R 1.6.2) is to type


at the R prompt. This produces the printout

[1] "   "

which contains an actual tab. In R 1.7.0 for linux typing


at the R prompt prints as

[1] "\t"

as expected.



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