[Rd] How to put my S4 class into data.frame

Gregor Gorjanc gregor.gorjanc at bfro.uni-lj.si
Sat Nov 4 17:37:33 CET 2006

John Chambers wrote:
> Designing a "better data frame" is something many people have likely
> thought about; I certainly have.
> But data frames are so widely used and so central to models and other
> software that a major change needs to be done by the user community, or
> at least with maximum feedback, IMO.
> Also, my prior feeling would be that it's better to think of an S4 class
> to play the role of data.frame, rather than tinkering with the S3 class
> to allow S4 columns.  Having formal classes (particularly using class
> unions to abstract notions about variables in the data frame)  lets one
> create a more precise and reliable definition.
> It's true, though, that one then has to work out the details of
> interfacing the S4 data frame class to current software that works with
> the S3 data.frame class.  AFAICS that is not too hard, but of course the
> details would be important.
> I've played around with some of these ideas, more as educational aids in
> discussing classes and methods than as a serious proposal.  Last time I
> looked, the writeup was not at a level I would feel happy circulating
> :-}  But perhaps a group of interested people could exchange some ideas.

As far as I see this (at the risk of uterly simplifying the issue) new
data.frame (perhaps dataFrame) could just be a list? of classes that
have the same length i.e. length() should have the same value.


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