[Rd] RFC: deprecating some complexity in key methods package functions

Peter Haverty haverty.peter at gene.com
Sat Aug 22 00:07:22 CEST 2015

Dear R community,

I have been working on speeding up a few parts of the methods package and
related environment/namespace functionality. I would like to get some
community input on a few proposed changes that are rather small, but do
involve deprecations. These changes would simplify and speed-up some
functions that are called with extreme frequency.

​I have made a few suggestions in the following R bug tracker submissions:​

In summary, the function 'is' can be called with a single argument, which
gives the same result as calling 'extends' directly. The second argument to
'is' can be one of two types (a class name or a class definition), but it
seems that only one of those options is ever used in methods or in base.​
 I'd like to deprecate using a classDef as the second argument as we can
now go quite fast without doing so.

​.getGeneric has an unnecessary swap of as.double for as.numeric and also
what looks like it might be a bit of vestigial debug code ( a check for
package == "" and detailed stack trace). The subsequent C code also checks
for this situation, so I think we can omit the first check.​

​If anyone feels strongly about deprecating​ these code paths, please let
me know. As a community, we are very careful about backwards compatibility
so I want to be sure no one needs these things.



Peter M. Haverty, Ph.D.
Genentech, Inc.
phaverty at gene.com

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