[Rd] Type annotations for R function parameters.

Duncan Murdoch murdoch.duncan at gmail.com
Fri Aug 30 12:54:33 CEST 2013

On 13-08-30 5:19 AM, Оботуров Артем wrote:
> Hello.
> One of my clients asked if it would be possible to have an IDE which could
> use type discovery for R functions to make flow-like construction of an R
> program. Something like a LabView graphical composition of processing
> elements.
> They called this type of program composition a "workflow".
> I looked at some of this programs, like:
> * Orange http://orange.biolab.si/
> * RedR http://www.red-r.org/
> * Rattle http://rattle.togaware.com/
> * Rpad https://code.google.com/p/rpad/
> and all of them did type introspection (they made mapping between R
> functions and their IDE's visual framework) by hand for each function of
> supported packages which is time and resource consuming.
> So, to reduce an amount of code to be written for adapters between R and
> IDE some kind of annotations could be introduced over parameters and return
> values. Those could be optional and will help to discover type information
> for support of dynamic composition of programs.
> Do you have any suggestions on the topic?

It's very common for R functions to accept many different types for the 
same argument on input, and somewhat common for the type of output to 
depend on the inputs, so this looks hard:  that's why those front ends 
need work by hand.

Duncan Murdoch

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