[Rd] Suggestion: Dimension-sensitive attributes
Bengoechea Bartolomé Enrique (SIES 73)
enrique.bengoechea at credit-suisse.com
Thu Jul 9 16:56:32 CEST 2009
Forgot to answer this one:
> It would seem natural that metadata associated with one dimension:
> would a table-like object
Right. A data frame has the problem that for most use cases one would want that each dimension length matches the *rows* of the data frame instead of the columns, but it is the columns what we would have "for free" when allowing "dimmeta" elements to be lists...
From: Laurent Gautier [mailto:lgautier at gmail.com]
Sent: jueves, 09 de julio de 2009 14:15
Cc: Heinz Tuechler; Bengoechea Bartolomé Enrique (SIES 73); Tony Plate; Henrik Bengtsson; r-devel at r-project.org
Subject: Re: [Rd] Suggestion: Dimension-sensitive attributes
Starting by working on an interface for such object(s) is probably the first step toward a unified solution, and this before about if and how R attributes are used.
It would also help to ensure a smooth transition from the existing classes implementing a similar solution (first the interface is added to those classes, then after a grace period the classes are eventually refactored).
Dimension-level is what seems to the be most needed... but I am not convinced of the practicality of the object-level, and cell-level scheme s proposed:
- Object-level, if not linked to any dimension-attribute is such saying that one want to attach anything to any object. That's what attr() is already doing.
- Cell-level, is may be out-of-scope for one first trial (but may be I missed the use-cases for it)
If starting with behaviour, it seems to boil to having "["/"[<-" and
- extract "[" / replace "[<-" :
* keeps working the way it already does
* extracts a subset of the object as well as a subset of the
* departing too much from the way "[" is working and add
behind-the-curtain name matching will only compromise the chances of
* forget about the bit about which metadata is kept and which one
isn't when using "[". Make a function "unmeta()" (similar behavior to
"unname()") to drop them all, or work it out with something like
> dimmeta(x, 1) <- NULL # drop the metadata associated with dimension 1
- access the dimension-associated metadata:
* may be a function called "dimmeta()" (for consistency with
"dimnames()") ? The signature could be dimmeta(x, i), with x the object,
and i the dimension requested. A replace function "dimmeta<-"(x, i,
value) would be provided.
In the abstract the "names" associated with a given dimension is just
one of possible metadata, but I'd keep away from meddling with it for a
It would seem natural that metadata associated with one dimension:
would a table-like object (data.frame seems natural in R, and
unfortunately there is no data.frame-like structure in R).
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