How to write and document %special% functions in R

[This article was first published on Peter Solymos - R related posts, and kindly contributed to R-bloggers]. (You can report issue about the content on this page here)
Want to share your content on R-bloggers? click here if you have a blog, or here if you don't.

I spend a considerable time of my working hours with data processing where I often use the %in% R function as x %in% y. Whenever I need the negation of that, I used to write !(x %in% y). Not much of a hassle, but still, wouldn’t it be nicer to have x %notin% y instead? So I decided to code it for my mefa4 package that I maintain primarily to make my data munging time shorter and more efficient. Coding a %special% function was no big deal. But I had to do quite a bit of research and trial-error until I figured out the proper documentation. So here it goes.

The function

The function name needs quotes and exactly two arguments, one for the left and one for the right hand side of the operator in the middle:

"%notin%" <- function(x, table) !(match(x, table, nomatch = 0) > 0)

Let us see what it does:

1:4 %in% 3:5
## [1] FALSE FALSE  TRUE  TRUE
1:4 %notin% 3:5
## [1]  TRUE  TRUE FALSE FALSE

The NAMESPACE entry

We need to export the function, so just add the following entry to the NAMESPACE file:

export("%notin%")

The Rd file

This is where things get are a bit more interesting. The LaTeX engine needs the percent sign to be escaped (\%) throughout the whole documentation. Also pay close attention to the usage section (x \%notin\% table).

\name{\%notin\%}
\alias{\%notin\%}
\title{
Negated Value Matching
}
\description{
\code{\%notin\%} is the negation of \code{\link{\%in\%}}, 
which returns a logical vector indicating if there is a non-match or not 
for its left operand.
}
\usage{
x \%notin\% table
}
\arguments{
  \item{x}{
vector or \code{NULL}: the values to be matched.
}
  \item{table}{
vector or \code{NULL}: the values to be matched against.
}
}
\value{
A logical vector, indicating if a non-match was located for each element of 
\code{x}: thus the values are \code{TRUE} or \code{FALSE} and never \code{NA}.
}
\author{
Peter Solymos 
}
\seealso{
All the opposite of what is written for \code{\link{\%in\%}}.
}
\examples{
1:10 \%notin\% c(1,3,5,9)
sstr <- c("c","ab","B","bba","c",NA,"@","bla","a","Ba","\%")
sstr[sstr \%notin\% c(letters, LETTERS)]
}
\keyword{manip}
\keyword{logic}

To leave a comment for the author, please follow the link and comment on their blog: Peter Solymos - R related posts.

R-bloggers.com offers daily e-mail updates about R news and tutorials about learning R and many other topics. Click here if you're looking to post or find an R/data-science job.
Want to share your content on R-bloggers? click here if you have a blog, or here if you don't.

Never miss an update!
Subscribe to R-bloggers to receive
e-mails with the latest R posts.
(You will not see this message again.)

Click here to close (This popup will not appear again)