[Rd] confusion about evaluation.

James Bullard bullard at berkeley.edu
Mon Jul 21 04:16:44 CEST 2008

Hi All, I am confused about the following code. I thought that the  
problem stemmed from lazy evaluation and the fact that 'i' is never  
evaluated within the first lapply. However, I am then confused as to  
why it gets bound to the final element of the lapply. The environments  
of the returned functions are indeed different in both cases and each  
environment has a local binding for 'i' it just happens to be 3 --  
which I will say is wrong, but I await reeducation.

I looked for documentation concerning this, but I wasn't able to find  
anything -- I imagine that this must be documented somewhere as it  
appears like a reasonable thing to do.  Thank you as always for any  
insight. -- jim

## doesn't do what I think it should
x <- lapply(1:3, function(i) {
     function() { i^2 }
sapply(1:3, function(i) x[[i]]())

[1] 9 9 9

## does what I expect
x <- lapply(1:3, function(i) {
     function() { i^2 }
[1] 1
[1] 2
[1] 3

sapply(1:3, function(i) x[[i]]())

[1] 1 4 9

 > sessionInfo()
R version 2.7.1 Patched (2008-07-20 r46088)


attached base packages:
[1] stats     graphics  grDevices utils     datasets  methods   base

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