Posted on Categories Exciting Techniques, TutorialsTags , , , 1 Comment on “If You Were an R Function, What Function Would You Be?”

“If You Were an R Function, What Function Would You Be?”

We’ve been getting some good uptake on our piping in R article announcement.

The article is necessarily a bit technical. But one of its key points comes from the observation that piping into names is a special opportunity to give general objects the following personality quiz: “If you were an R function, what function would you be?”

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Playing With Pipe Notations

Recently Hadley Wickham prescribed pronouncing the magrittr pipe as “then” and using right-assignment as follows:


I am not sure if it is a good or bad idea. But let’s play with it a bit, and perhaps readers can submit their experience and opinions in the comments section.

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Reusable Pipelines in R

Pipelines in R are popular, the most popular one being magrittr as used by dplyr.

This note will discuss the advanced re-usable piping systems: rquery/rqdatatable operator trees and wrapr function object pipelines. In each case we have a set of objects designed to extract extra power from the wrapr dot-arrow pipe %.>%.

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Sharing Modeling Pipelines in R

Reusable modeling pipelines are a practical idea that gets re-developed many times in many contexts. wrapr supplies a particularly powerful pipeline notation, and a pipe-stage re-use system (notes here). We will demonstrate this with the vtreat data preparation system.

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Piping into ggplot2

In our wrapr pipe RJournal article we used piping into ggplot2 layers/geoms/items as an example.

Being able to use the same pipe operator for data processing steps and for ggplot2 layering is a question that comes up from time to time (for example: Why can’t ggplot2 use %>%?). In fact the primary ggplot2 package author wishes that magrittr piping was the composing notation for ggplot2 (though it is obviously too late to change).

There are some fundamental difficulties in trying to use the magrittr pipe in such a way. In particular magrittr looks for its own pipe by name in un-evaluated code, and thus is difficult to engineer over (though it can be hacked around). The general concept is: pipe stages are usually functions or function calls, and ggplot2 components are objects (verbs versus nouns); and at first these seem incompatible.

However, the wrapr dot-arrow-pipe was designed to handle such distinctions.

Let’s work an example.

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Dot-Pipe Paper Accepted by the R Journal!!!

We are thrilled to announce our (my and Nina Zumel’s) paper on the dot-pipe has been accepted by the R-Journal!


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