Making data available as data.frame

Description Usage Arguments Details Value Side Effects Author(s) See Also Examples


This function is no longer available in the sm package. It should be replaced by the use of attach, if necessary. Each dataset now also has its own help file.

It was a utility function, widely used in the scripts accompanying the book described below. The function provided access to the dataset identified by name. For flexibility, the datasets were provided in ASCII form, with the name of each variable listed in the first row of the file. This function reads the files and makes the data available as a data frame.





name of the data to be loaded and attached as data.frame


the path where the data and its documentation should be searched for, The default value is an appropriate sub-directory of the sm package.


A list of options passed to sm.options. The one used is describe, a logical flag. If describe=TRUE (default), a documentation file of the data is searched and printed, if available.


the data file is assumed to be called data.dat and the documentation file describing the data (if present) is assumed to be called data.doc. If the data.frame is already attached, it is re-attached in the second position of the search list.

To set describe=FALSE for the rest of the current session, use sm.options(describe=FALSE)

The function can easily be adapted to play a similar role for other packages.



Side Effects

messages are printed on the command window, describing progress of the operation. If describe=TRUE and a documentation file exists, this is printed on the command windows or another windows, depending on the type of platform where the program is executed.


Bowman, A.W. and Azzalini, A.

See Also

data.frame, attach, sm, sm.options



sm documentation built on May 1, 2019, 8:06 p.m.

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