[Rd] help files for load and related functions
pburns at pburns.seanet.com
Mon Dec 17 15:57:36 CET 2007
Patches to the help files sound like a good idea. However,
it isn't something I'm likely to get to immediately. I'm
hoping that some other nice person will volunteer.
Duncan Murdoch wrote:
> On 12/17/2007 6:00 AM, Patrick Burns wrote:
>> I recently had a discussion with a user about loading
>> and attaching in R. I was surprised that the help files
>> don't provide a very clear picture.
>> From my point of view 'load' and 'attach' are very
>> similar operations, the difference being that 'attach'
>> creates a new database on the search list while 'load'
>> puts all the objects into the global environment.
>> The help file for 'load' is inexplicit that this is what
>> happens. The 'load' and 'attach' help files neither refer
>> to the other in their See Also.
>> Furthermore, the 'library' help file talks about "loading"
>> packages. I would suggest that it should use "attaching"
>> as that is the analogous operation.
>> None of these three help files (nor that of 'save') has a
>> Side Effects section. Personally I think that all help files
>> should have a Side Effects section (to make it clear to
>> new users what side effects are and that they are not a
>> good thing for most functions to have). I can understand
>> there could be another point of view on that. However, I
>> definitely think that there should be a Side Effects section
>> in the help files of functions whose whole point is a side
> I think you make good points. Care to submit patches? The source for
> those man pages are in
> If you send them to me before Thursday or after Jan 2, I'll take a
> look. (If you send them to me during the Xmas break there's a good
> chance they'll get lost.)
> Duncan Murdoch
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