[R] seq_len

Charilaos Skiadas cskiadas at gmail.com
Sat Dec 8 15:52:34 CET 2007

On Dec 8, 2007, at 1:02 AM, Joe W. Byers wrote:

> In a post on R-devel, Prof Ripley add the following comment
> | > BTW, 1:dim(names)[1] is dangerous: it could be 1:0.  That was the
> | > motivation for seq_len.
> I use the dim(names)[1] and dim(x)[2] along with length(x) with  
> varying
> levels of frustration depending on the object which I am trying to get
> the dimensions.  I found the reference to seq_len interesting since it
> is a function that I have never seen (probably just missed it reading
> the docs).
> I was hoping someone could expand on the benefits of seq_len.

I think that example says it all. But in simpler form, suppose x is a  
vector, and you want to produce a regular sequence of integers of the  
same length. What should happen i the vector x has length 0? Here's  
the output of the two commands.

 > y<-length(x)
 > y
[1] 0
 > 1:y
[1] 1 0
 > seq_len(y)

Other than treating the edge case correctly, the only other advantage  
of seq_len, that I am aware of, is that it is faster. Not sure how  
often that ends up mattering though.

> Happy Holidays
> Joe

Haris Skiadas
Department of Mathematics and Computer Science
Hanover College

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