[R] R GUI and object browser

Martin Maechler maechler at stat.math.ethz.ch
Fri Jul 12 08:28:57 CEST 2002

>>>>> "PaCo" == Patrick Connolly <p.connolly at hortresearch.co.nz> writes:

    PaCo> On Thu, 11-Jul-2002 at 07:58PM -0400, Mike Prager wrote:
    PaCo> |> At 10:37 AM 07/11/2002 +0200, Philippe Grosjean wrote:
    PaCo> |> >Several users noticed that the only part of the Splus GUI they
    PaCo> |> >use is the object explorer. So, wouldn't an R object explorer be a good
    PaCo> |> >addition to the current interface?
    PaCo> |> 
    PaCo> |> Yes!  I hope the core development team will consider it.

    PaCo> It's not very difficult to write a function that lists your objects in
    PaCo> a dataframe along with the sort of information you'd like to see.  I
    PaCo> personally like to know the size of dataframes so it was simple to
    PaCo> make columns that shows the dimensions.  It was somewhat trickier to
    PaCo> get the date but I like to have it, so I did it.  

    PaCo> My current directory has things like this in it:

    PaCo> Object        Mode   Rows Cols Len    Date   
    PaCo> 1 fmr.pvh2000    function  --    --   1  12/07/2002
    PaCo> 2 last.warning   list      --    --   5  12/07/2002
    PaCo> 3 pvh.latto2000  function  --    --   1  09/07/2002
    PaCo> 4 pvh.latto2000A function  --    --   1  09/07/2002
    PaCo> 5 rain.plot2000  function  --    --   1  09/07/2002
    PaCo> 6 accum2000      function  --    --   1  04/07/2002
    PaCo> 7 pvh.latto4     function  --    --   1  04/07/2002
    PaCo> 8 side.df        dataframe 1000  5    5  04/07/2002

quite nice!



may be an under used feature of R, at least since version 0.5 or so;
it does provide a bit more output than the above and 
does *not* provide the date. 

For quite some reason: 
I believe that most of the experienced S users (including the R
ones) keep things in scripts and packages -- if only for the
purpose of reproducible research and do not use .RData often
(I do never; I do save expensive results (mostly simulations) in *.rda
files that I attach() or load() explicitly, but that's all.
Everything else I recreate by running a script or loading a
private package.  --> hence `date' of an object would have to be
the date of the script where that object is defined which often
is not really interesting...

    PaCo> I wrote my function some years ago and could do it much better knowing
    PaCo> what I know now, but if someone wants to make something generally
    PaCo> available, mine might be a good starting point.

(so why didn't you append it, or make it available as URL ?)

    PaCo> -- 
    PaCo> HortResearch
    PaCo> Mt Albert
    PaCo> Auckland
    PaCo> New Zealand 
    PaCo> Ph: +64-9 815 4200 x 7188
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