R 4.1.0 has been released and has a couple of handy new features.
One is a shorthand syntax for defining functions. Now, instead of writing, for example
triple <- function(x) x * 3
you can use the more concise syntax
triple <- \(x) x * 3
which may come in handy when using anonymous functions in
More interesting, though, is the addition of a native pipe operator to R, given by
|>, i.e. a pipe and a greater-than sign.
As of R 4.1.0, the following are equivalent.
triple(4) 4 |> triple()
This is similar to the functionality previously provided by the magrittr package (often through dplyr and tidyr):
library(magrittr) 4 %>% triple
but saves you loading any add-on packages.
In fact, there already was a pipe of sorts in base R, as John Mount points out: in the form of the
->.; ‘operator’ (assign to a variable called
., then terminate with the rarely-used semicolon):
4 ->.; triple(.)
As a result there are now four different ways of writing the same function call as a one-liner in R version 4.1.0:
triple(4) 4 %>% triple 4 ->.; triple(.) 4 |> triple()