[Rd] specials issue, a heads up

robin hankin h@nk|n@rob|n @end|ng |rom gm@||@com
Mon Feb 24 20:54:04 CET 2020

Terry, speaking as a package author I would say that the package is the
primary unit of organisation of R functionality, and package considerations
should trump R style considerations.  Packages should be self-contained as
far as possible.

Having said that, many of my own packages use---shall we say---distinct
idiom which is easy to misunderstand.  My suggestion would be to document
the misunderstanding. Add the survival::coxph() expression you quote above
to coxph.Rd,  maybe under a \warning{} section, explaining both a
reasonable but wrong, and the correct way, to parse such constructions.

Best wishes


On Tue, Feb 25, 2020 at 2:56 AM Therneau, Terry M., Ph.D. via R-devel <
r-devel using r-project.org> wrote:

> I recently had a long argument wrt the survival package, namely that the
> following code
> didn't do what they expected, and so they reported it as a bug
>    survival::coxph( survival::Surv(time, status) ~ age + sex +
> survival::strata(inst),
> data=lung)
> a. The Google R style guide  recommends that one put :: everywhere
> b. This breaks the recognition of cluster as a "special" in the terms
> function.
> I've been stubborn and said that their misunderstanding of how formulas
> work is not my
> problem.   But I'm sure that the issue will come up again, and multiple
> other packages
> will break.
> A big problem is that the code runs, it just gives the wrong answer.
> Suggestions?
> Terry T.
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