[TxMt] R bundle: Suggestions for 'Insert Command Template'

Hans-Joerg Bibiko bibiko at eva.mpg.de
Wed Jan 3 16:42:29 UTC 2007

On 30 Dec 2006, at 11:31, Kevin Ballard wrote:

> On Dec 19, 2006, at 4:56 AM, Hans-Joerg Bibiko wrote:
>> Nevertheless I have some humble suggestions to improve it:
>> 1)
>> Now this command executes the apropos function within a new fresh  
>> R session. This means that it doesn't know which libraries I'm  
>> currently using and it doesn't know which functions I defined  
>> within my R session. To use 'Insert Command Template' also for  
>> this you should load the function 'getSig.r' in my current session  
>> (renamed in '.getSig' ) and executes this within my session to get  
>> these signatures too.
>> By doing so you would increase the speed of it enormously and you  
>> can insert signatures for user-defined functions and functions  
>> coming from loaded libraries.
>> The disadvantage of it would be that you have such queries in your  
>> current session; ok you don't see them in the TM R console window,  
>> but if you save it workspace you would have these.
>> To avoid this you could think about to write the answer of the  
>> query into a file and load it in TM.
>> Or, if you don't interested in the user-defined functions you  
>> could start a new R session which loads all libraries which are  
>> loaded in my current session.
>> (I don't know whether this would also work for user-defined  
>> fucntions?)
> That only works if you have a "current session". I assume you use  
> the hackery that uses R.app to execute stuff? I, for example, don't  
> like that and so I don't use it at all, so I wouldn't have the  
> concept of a "current session".

You are right, I use that hackery. But this is purely a matter of  
taste. ;)

> I'd like to let it load libraries which are loaded in your current  
> session, as well as detect function definitions and provide those  
> as well. I just don't know how much work it takes to do that safely  
> (safely meaning you don't want any side effects) and cleanly.

To do so would mean that you have to load all libraries of the  
'current session' each time. This could take some time. That's why I  
prefer the way to auto-load '.getSig' if I start a new session.

For libraries I have an approach:


This would give you:
[1] "library(RGUI);library(methods);library(stats);library 

You could use it within 'Insert Command Template' if you write this  
command in BASH.

I mean:
- assign a variable LIB to the osascript output which executes this R  
code within your current R session
- put the entire Ruby code in this BASH script and write in line 16  
(of the original insert_command_template.rb)

14 wordEsc = word.gsub("\\|'", "\\\\\\0")
15 wordReg = Regexp.escape(word).gsub("\\|'", "\\\\\\0")
16 stdin.puts("$LIB;cat(paste(getSig(if ('#{wordEsc}' %in% (ary <-  
sort(apropos('^#{wordReg}', mode='function')))) '#{wordEsc}' else  
ary), collapse='\\n'))")
17 stdin.close

For functions it is a bit difficult.

Here is only a first thought:

- get all objects via 'ls()'
- check which object is a function via 'mode()'
- use 'formals()' to get the signature

>> 2)
>> If you use the approach in 1) then you can do more elaborated  
>> things with it because of the speed.
>> Examples:
>> -If I look for for a keyword it will insert the signature like the  
>> old version. If there is nothing found it will look for functions  
>> which begins with the keyword like the old version.
>> -If I type e.g. 'data.' it lists all methods for 'data.' like  
>> data.class, data.frame etc. but not 'dataentry'
>> -If I type e.g. '.difftime' you get all functions where  
>> '.difftime' is specified like mean.difftime, print.difftime. To  
>> insert the signature you have to select the keyword in beforehand  
>> otherwise it shows a tooltip.
>> -If I have no idea about the complete name of a function you can  
>> type e.g. '.load.'. This would look for '*load*' as regexp.  
>> Furthermore sometimes I cannot remember whether the a function is  
>> called 'shownames' or 'showNames', so you can write '.names.' and  
>> it looks for '*names*|*Names*'.
>> I would use periods for '.foo.' for indicating this because it  
>> will be caught be Ruby's getword function.
>> Of course you can do more things:
>> -You could catch the 'apropos()' function and run it in TM and  
>> print the result as pop down menu
>> and  and  and
>> What do you think about it?
>> To change to code would be relatively easy.
> I'm not really sure I understand the second point here.

My point only was to improve it in such a way that you can use it as  
a kind of search tool for functions.
Sometimes I don't know where 'difftime' is specified (mean.difftime  
or print.difftime)
there is a function showNames() but I don't know whether it is  
written with a capital 'N' or not.



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