[Rd] var() with 0-length vector -- docs inconsistent with result

Raubertas, Richard rich@rd_r@ubert@@ @ending from merck@com
Tue Sep 11 20:52:55 CEST 2018

R 3.5.1 on Windows 7

The documentation for 'var' says:  "These functions return 'NA' when there is only one observation (whereas S-PLUS has been  returning 'NaN'), and fail if 'x' has length zero."  The function 'sd' (based on 'var') has similar documentation.

However, I get:
[1] NA

rather than an error.

Personally I prefer that basic summary functions like 'var' not throw errors even in corner cases.   But either way, the result and the docs are inconsistent.

Richard Raubertas

> sessionInfo()
R version 3.5.1 (2018-07-02)
Platform: x86_64-w64-mingw32/x64 (64-bit)
Running under: Windows 7 x64 (build 7601) Service Pack 1

Matrix products: default

[1] LC_COLLATE=English_United States.1252 
[2] LC_CTYPE=English_United States.1252   
[3] LC_MONETARY=English_United States.1252
[4] LC_NUMERIC=C                          
[5] LC_TIME=English_United States.1252    

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

loaded via a namespace (and not attached):
[1] compiler_3.5.1 tools_3.5.1   

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