By Hadley Wickham.
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Extra resources for Advanced R
Frame': 3 obs. frame()’s default behaviour which turns strings into factors. frame': 3 obs. frame is an S3 class, its type reﬂects the underlying vector used to build it: the list. frame(): • A vector will create a one-column data frame. • A list will create one column for each element; it’s an error if they’re not all the same length. • A matrix will create a data frame with the same number of columns and rows. frame(x = 10, y = "z")) #> x y #> 1 1 a #> 2 2 b #> 3 3 c #> 4 10 z When combining column-wise, the number of rows must match, but row names are ignored.
When working with these attributes, use names(x), class(x), and dim(x), not attr(x, "names"), attr(x, "class"), and attr(x, "dim"). 1 Names You can name a vector in three ways: • When creating it: x <- c(a = 1, b = 2, c = 3). • By modifying an existing vector in place: x <- 1:3; names(x) <- c("a", "b", "c"). • By creating a modiﬁed copy of a vector: x <- setNames(1:3, c("a", "b", "c")). Names don’t have to be unique. 1, is the most important reason to use names and it is most useful when the names are unique.
This is suboptimal, because there’s no way for those functions to know the set of all possible levels or their optimal order. Instead, use the argument stringsAsFactors = FALSE to suppress this behaviour, and then manually convert character vectors to factors using your knowledge of the data. A global option, options(stringsAsFactors = FALSE), is available to control this behaviour, but I don’t recommend using it. Changing a global option may have unexpected consequences when combined with other code (either from packages, or code that you’re source()ing), and global options make code harder to understand because they increase the number of lines you need to read to understand how a single line of code will behave.