[Rd] apropos changes in r-devel: intended feature or bug?

Kurt Hornik Kurt.Hornik at wu-wien.ac.at
Fri Dec 22 13:48:03 CET 2006

>>>>> Martin Maechler writes:

>>>>> "DeepS" == Deepayan Sarkar <deepayan.sarkar at gmail.com>
>>>>>     on Thu, 21 Dec 2006 22:07:27 -0800 writes:

DeepS> The old apropos started with: if
DeepS> (!is.character(what)) what <-
DeepS> as.character(substitute(what))

DeepS> The new one has:

DeepS> if (character.only) stopifnot(is.character(what))
DeepS> else what <- as.character(substitute(what))

DeepS> i.e., the check for is.character(what) is
DeepS> missing. This has the effect that 'what' can no
DeepS> longer be a character string generated by a function
DeepS> call unless 'character.only = TRUE'. I don't think
DeepS> this was intended; the change makes previously valid
DeepS> use invalid and I can't think of a situation where it
DeepS> is useful.

> [ Did you read the corresponding NEWS entry? ]

> It now parallelizes the use in library() , require() etc,
> and in particular does what the documentation says it does!

> The old behavior was much less consistent and not according to
> documentation:

>      apropos(lm)    was equivalent to apropos("lm")
> but  apropos(fit)   gave an error.

I would actually prefer if we only had standard evaluation for apropos()
and find().

(I understand we cannot do this for library() and help().)


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