[Rd] New pipe operator
Jan van der Laan
rhe|p @end|ng |rom eoo@@dd@@n|
Wed Dec 9 16:42:43 CET 2020
On 09-12-2020 16:20, Duncan Murdoch wrote:
> On 09/12/2020 9:55 a.m., Jan van der Laan wrote:
>
>>
>> I think only allowing functions on the right hand side (e.g. only the |>
>> operator and not the |:>) would be enough to handle most cases and seems
>> easier to reason about. The limitations of that can easily be worked
>> around using existing functionality in the language.
>
> I agree that would be sufficient, but I don't see how it makes reasoning
> easier. The transformation is trivial, so I'll assume that doesn't
> consume any mental energy compared to understanding what the final
> expression actually does. Using your currying example, the choice is
> between
>
> x |> mean(na.rm = TRUE)
>
> which transforms to mean(x, na.rm = TRUE), or your proposed
>
> x |> curry(mean, na.rm = TRUE)
>
> which transforms to
>
> curry(mean, na.rm = TRUE)(x)
>
> To me curry(mean, na.rm = TRUE)(x) looks a lot more complicated than
> mean(x, na.rm = TRUE), especially since it has the additional risk that
> users can define their own function called "curry".
First, I do agree that
x |> mean(na.rm = TRUE)
is cleaner and this covers most of the use cases of users and many users
are used to the syntax from the magritr pipes.
However, for programmers (there is not distinct line between users and
programmers), it is simpler to reason in the sense that lhs |> rhs
always mean rhs(lhs); this does not depend on whether rhs is call or
(anonymous) function (not sure what is called what; which perhaps
illustrates the difficulty).
As soon as you start to have functions returning functions, you have to
think about how many brackets you have to place where. Being able to use
functions returning functions does open up possibilities for
programmers, as illustrated for example in my example using expressions.
This would have been much less clear.
The argument of users begin able to redefine curry. Yes they can and
this is perhaps a good thing. They can also redefine a lot of other
stuff. And I am not suggesting that curry or fexpr or . are good names.
You could even have a curry operator.
Best,
Jan
>
> Duncan Murdoch
>
>>
>> The problem with only allowing
>>
>> x |> mean
>>
>> and not
>>
>> x |> mean()
>>
>> is with additional arguments. However, this can be solved with a
>> currying function, for example:
>>
>> x |> curry(mean, na.rm = TRUE)
>>
>> The cost is a few additional characters.
>>
>> In the same way it is possible to write a function that accepts an
>> expression and returns a function containing that expression. This can
>> be used to have expressions on the right-hand side and reduces the need
>> for anonymous functions.
>>
>> x |> fexpr(. + 10)
>> dta |> fexpr(lm(y ~ x, data = .))
>>
>> You could call this function .:
>>
>> x |> .(. + 10)
>> dta |> .(lm(y ~ x, data = .))
>>
>>
>> Dummy example code (thanks to a colleague of mine)
>>
>>
>> fexpr <- function(expr){
>> expr <- substitute(expr)
>> f <- function(.) {}
>> body(f) <- expr
>> f
>> }
>> . <- fexpr
>>
>> curry <- function(fun,...){
>> L <- list(...)
>> function(...){
>> do.call(fun, c(list(...),L))
>> }
>> }
>>
>> `%|>%` <- function(e1, e2) {
>> e2(e1)
>> }
>>
>>
>> 1:10 %>% mean
>> c(1,3,NA) %|>% curry(mean, na.rm = TRUE)
>> c(1,3,NA) %|>% .( mean(., na.rm = TRUE) ) %>% identity
>> c(1,3,NA) %|>% .( . + 4)
>> c(1,3,NA) %|>% fexpr( . + 4)
>> c(1,3,NA) %|>% function(x) mean(x, na.rm = TRUE) %>% fexpr(. + 1)
>>
>> --
>> Jan
>>
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>>
>
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