[Rd] Suggestion/opinions: add a `absolute` param to `normalizePath()` to force returning an absolute path

Jim Hester j@me@@|@he@ter @end|ng |rom gm@||@com
Wed Apr 15 16:06:44 CEST 2020

The fs[1] function `fs::path_abs()` does what I believe you were
expecting `normalizePath()` to do in this case. e.g.

    #> Warning in normalizePath("foo/bar") :
    #> path[1]="foo/bar": No such file or directory
    #> [1] "foo/bar"

    #> /Users/jhester/foo/bar

[1]: https://CRAN.R-project.org/package=fs

On Tue, Apr 14, 2020 at 1:03 PM Dean Attali <daattali using gmail.com> wrote:
> This request stems off a bug report I posted
> https://bugs.r-project.org/bugzilla/show_bug.cgi?id=17757 where it was
> determined the current behaviour is as expected.
> To recap: when given a real file, normalizePath() always* returns the full
> absolute path. When given a non-existent file, normalizePath() returns a
> full path on Windows but it returns the input on other systems*. I'd argue
> that there are benefits to being able to reliably and consistently get a
> full path, regardless of whether the file exists or not. In order to not
> break existing behaviour, I propose adding an argument `absolute = FALSE`
> that will attempt to return an absolute path when the argument is set to
> TRUE. I don't have any evidence for this claim, but I believe that others
> who use this function would expect, like I did, that an absolute path is
> returned regardless of the file state. I understand the documentation is
> correct because it warns the absolute path may not be returned, but I
> believe it would be a useful feature to support.
> * I've tested this on Win7, Win10, two versions of MacOS, ubuntu. This
> behaviour may not be true in other OSes
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