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Qualified identifier

These may occur in a list of identifiers to define subsets of the values of a data structure. The form is “identifier $ qualifier“, where the qualifier is a sequence of identifier lists enclosed in square brackets. For factors, variates, and texts, the qualifier has a single list, each element of which defines a subset of the vector concerned. For matrices there are two lists running in parallel, one for each dimension. For a symmetric matrix, there can be either one or two lists, depending on whether or not its two dimensions are to be subset in the same way. For a diagonal matrix there is a single list. Tables cannot be qualified. The elements of the qualifier lists can be scalars, numbers, variates, quoted strings, or texts. The set of units defined by an element in the qualification list is built up, by taking its values one at a time. Positive numbers (or texts or strings) add units to the set, while negative numbers delete the corresponding units from the set (if already there). A missing value can be used to include all the units, and one of these will be included implicitly at the start of the qualification list if the first element of the list is negative.

Updated on February 25, 2019

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