# [R] Logical operators and named arguments

Prof Brian Ripley ripley at stats.ox.ac.uk
Sat Aug 9 12:12:47 CEST 2014

```On 09/08/2014 01:10, Joshua Wiley wrote:
> On Sat, Aug 9, 2014 at 9:56 AM, Patrick Burns <pburns at pburns.seanet.com>
> wrote:
>
>> On 07/08/2014 07:21, Joshua Wiley wrote:
>>
>>> Hi Ryan,
>>>
>>> It does work, but the *apply family of functions always pass to the first
>>> argument, so you can specify e2 = , but not e1 =.  For example:
>>>
>>>   sapply(1:3, `>`, e2 = 2)
>>>>
>>> [1] FALSE FALSE  TRUE
>>>
>>
>> That is not true:
>>
>
> But it is passed as the first argument, not by name, but positionally.  The
> reason it works with your gt() is because R with regular functions is
> flexible:
>
>> f <- function(x, y) x > y
>> f(1:3, x = 2)
> [1]  TRUE FALSE FALSE
>
> but primitives ARE positionally matched

That's not true either.  Almost all primitives intended to be called as
functions do have standard argument-matching semantics.  (Once upon a
time they did not, but I added the requisite code years ago.)  There are
six exceptions plus binary operators and other language elements.

See
http://cran.r-project.org/doc/manuals/r-release/R-ints.html#g_t_002eInternal-vs-_002ePrimitive
and the comments about primitive functions in ?lapply.

>
>> `>`(1:3, 2)
> [1] FALSE FALSE  TRUE
>> `>`(1:3, e1 = 2)
> [1] FALSE FALSE  TRUE
>
>
>
>>
>> gt <- function(x, y) x > y
>>
>>> sapply(1:3, gt, y=2)
>> [1] FALSE FALSE  TRUE
>>> sapply(1:3, gt, x=2)
>> [1]  TRUE FALSE FALSE
>>
>> Specifying the first argument(s) in an apply
>> call is a standard way of getting flexibility.
>>
>> I'd hazard to guess that the reason the original
>> version doesn't work is because `>` is Primitive.
>> There's speed at the expense of not behaving quite
>> the same as typical functions.
>>
>> Pat
>>
>>
>>>   From ?sapply
>>>>
>>>
>>>        'lapply' returns a list of the same length as 'X', each element of
>>>        which is the result of applying 'FUN' to the corresponding element
>>>        of 'X'.
>>>
>>> so `>` is applied to each element of 1:3
>>>
>>> `>`(1, ...)
>>> `>`(2, ...)
>>> `>`(3, ...)
>>>
>>> and if e2 is specified than that is passed
>>>
>>> `>`(1, 2)
>>> `>`(2, 2)
>>> `>`(3, 2)
>>>
>>> Further, see ?Ops
>>>
>>>      If the members of this group are called as functions, any
>>>             argument names are removed to ensure that positional matching
>>>             is always used.
>>>
>>> and you can see this at work:
>>>
>>>   `>`(e1 = 1, e2 = 2)
>>>>
>>> [1] FALSE
>>>
>>>> `>`(e2 = 1, e1 = 2)
>>>>
>>> [1] FALSE
>>>
>>> If you want to the flexibility to specify which argument the elements of X
>>> should be *applied to, use a wrapper:
>>>
>>>   sapply(1:3, function(x) `>`(x, 2))
>>>>
>>> [1] FALSE FALSE  TRUE
>>>
>>>> sapply(1:3, function(x) `>`(2, x))
>>>>
>>> [1]  TRUE FALSE FALSE
>>>
>>>
>>> HTH,
>>>
>>> Josh
>>>
>>>
>>>
>>> On Thu, Aug 7, 2014 at 2:20 PM, Ryan <reckbo at bwh.harvard.edu> wrote:
>>>
>>>   Hi,
>>>>
>>>> I'm wondering why calling ">" with named arguments doesn't work as
>>>> expected:
>>>>
>>>>   args(">")
>>>>>
>>>> function (e1, e2)
>>>> NULL
>>>>
>>>>   sapply(c(1,2,3), `>`, e2=0)
>>>>>
>>>> [1] TRUE TRUE TRUE
>>>>
>>>>   sapply(c(1,2,3), `>`, e1=0)
>>>>>
>>>> [1] TRUE TRUE TRUE
>>>>
>>>> Shouldn't the latter be FALSE?
>>>>
>>>> Thanks for any help,
>>>> Ryan
>>>>
>>>>
>>>> The information in this e-mail is intended only for th...{{dropped:23}}
>>>>
>>>
>>> ______________________________________________
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>>> PLEASE do read the posting guide http://www.R-project.org/
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>>>
>>>
>> --
>> Patrick Burns
>> pburns at pburns.seanet.com
>> twitter: @burnsstat @portfolioprobe
>> http://www.portfolioprobe.com/blog
>> http://www.burns-stat.com
>> (home of:
>>   'Impatient R'
>>   'The R Inferno'
>>   'Tao Te Programming')
>>
>
>
>

--
Brian D. Ripley,                  ripley at stats.ox.ac.uk
Emeritus Professor of Applied Statistics, University of Oxford
1 South Parks Road, Oxford OX1 3TG, UK

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