Parsetools Coding Conventions

Andrew Redd


Coding Conventions for the parsetools package


All the functions in parsetools are concerned with parse-data objects. Functions either obtain the parse-data, such as get_parse_data(); convert or transform the parse data, such as classify_comments(); identify elements of the parse data tree, such as pd_is_function(); or navigate the tree, such as get_parent_id().


With the exception of obtaining functions and manipulation functions, all function will either take an argument pd as a stand alone argument which expects a parse-data object, or will take the combination of an id and a pd, exclusively in that order. The id argument is expected to be an integer of values that exist in pd$id which denotes the node or nodes of interest. Whether id is a singleton or vector is differentiated by function naming conventions described in the following sections. If there is a need for additional function arguments they must occur after the id and pd arguments.

Naming Conventions Overview

Function names should follow the underscore standard with appropriate prefixes and suffixes, and conform to proper plurality.

form Meaning Accepts Returns Exported
pd_is_* Logical test function id vector logical 1:1 for input id Yes
pd_get_*_id Navigation function id vector id integer 1:1 for input Yes
pd_get_*_ids Set identification single id id vector many:1 for input Yes
get_*_pd Subsetting id(1)+pd subsetted parse-data No
all_*_ids Global sets parse-data id vector many:1 for input No
pd_* Other action function id+pd Depending

Logical Test Functions

Functions of the form pd_is_<name> test if the specified id satisfies the criteria for <name>. For example, pd_is_function(id,pd) tests if the id identifies a function expression, namely the token for id is expr, and the token for the firstborn, i.e. child with minimum id, is FUNCTION. These also appear in the form pd_is_in_<name>. Example, pd_is_in_class_definition tests if the expression is nested inside any defined class definition.

Set Identification Functions

Function that of the form pd_get_<name>_ids are set identification functions. They take a single node, and only a single node and return a set of nodes relative to the given node.

Shortcut functions

There are several functions that are shortcuts for internal expressions. These should not be exported but may use the shortcut of defining the function to infer the pd argument from the parent function environment, pd=get('pd', parent.frame()).

Exported functions should not utilize this shortcut. The shortcut functions are renamed with the following conventions:

Error Checking

Exported functions should perform error checking on arguments. This can be made optional by the .check argument, and when used internally the checking should be turned off.


In testing code blocks results of output should be directly in the expect_* function, or stored in an object called test.object.


Functions that return a single id value for each input should vectorize over input. When possible keep the shortest form, if explicit vectorization is needed use:

if (length(id) > 1L) return(sapply(id, <function_name>, pd=pd, <other arguments>, .check=FALSE))

Those that return multiple values for each input id accept only only singleton ids. These functions should check that the input is of length 1.