[R] Summary method needed?

Prof Brian Ripley ripley at stats.ox.ac.uk
Wed Aug 2 20:29:28 CEST 2006

On Wed, 2 Aug 2006, Christian Hennig wrote:

> Hi list,
> I'm updating my fpc package at the moment and will add some new functions. 
> I learned that there should be print and summary methods for the key
> functions.

for 'classes', I think.

> The purpose of the summary methods seems to be to reduce the 
> possibly incredibly complex information in the function's output and the 
> print method (print.summary.foo) should print an overview of the result.

Normally, summary() gives more information than print() would give
for a non-data object, often by manipulations on the object.

Now, the White Book said that summary produces `a synopsis of an object', 
but that does not seem to be the practice for model-fitting classes even 
in the White Book (but it is for data objects).

> But in some cases the print method will make use of more or less all the 
> output information of the function. Is there any reason to implement a 
> summary method in these cases?

Would a more concise print() method be useful?  If so the existing print() 
could become summary().

Brian D. Ripley,                  ripley at stats.ox.ac.uk
Professor of Applied Statistics,  http://www.stats.ox.ac.uk/~ripley/
University of Oxford,             Tel:  +44 1865 272861 (self)
1 South Parks Road,                     +44 1865 272866 (PA)
Oxford OX1 3TG, UK                Fax:  +44 1865 272595

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