Collect dots tidily

list2() is equivalent to list(...) but provides tidy dots semantics:

  • You can splice other lists with the unquote-splice !!! operator.

  • You can unquote names by using the unquote operator !! on the left-hand side of :=.

We call quasiquotation support in dots tidy dots semantics and functions taking dots with list2() tidy dots functions. Quasiquotation is an alternative to do.call() idioms and gives the users of your functions an uniform syntax to supply a variable number of arguments or a variable name.

dots_list() is a lower-level version of list2() that offers additional parameters for dots capture.

dots_list(..., .ignore_empty = c("trailing", "none", "all"))



Arguments with explicit (dots_list()) or list (dots_splice()) splicing semantics. The contents of spliced arguments are embedded in the returned list.


Whether to ignore empty arguments. Can be one of "trailing", "none", "all". If "trailing", only the last argument is ignored if it is empty.


Note that while all tidy eval quoting functions have tidy dots semantics, not all tidy dots functions are quoting functions. list2() is for standard functions, not quoting functions.


A list of arguments. This list is always named: unnamed arguments are named with the empty string "".

Life cycle

One difference of dots_list() with list2() is that it always allocates a vector of names even if no names were supplied. In this case, the names are all empty "". This is for consistency with enquos() and enexprs() but can be quite costly when long lists are spliced in the results. For this reason we plan to parameterise this behaviour with a .named argument and possibly change the default. list2() does not have this issue.

See Also

exprs() for extracting dots without evaluation.

  • tidy-dots
  • dots_list
  • list2
library(rlang) # NOT RUN { # Let's create a function that takes a variable number of arguments: numeric <- function(...) { dots <- list2(...) num <- as.numeric(dots) set_names(num, names(dots)) } numeric(1, 2, 3) # The main difference with list(...) is that list2(...) enables # the `!!!` syntax to splice lists: x <- list(2, 3) numeric(1, !!! x, 4) # As well as unquoting of names: nm <- "yup!" numeric(!!nm := 1) # One useful application of splicing is to work around exact and # partial matching of arguments. Let's create a function taking # named arguments and dots: fn <- function(data, ...) { list2(...) } # You normally cannot pass an argument named `data` through the dots # as it will match `fn`'s `data` argument. The splicing syntax # provides a workaround: fn("wrong!", data = letters) # exact matching of `data` fn("wrong!", dat = letters) # partial matching of `data` fn(some_data, !!! list(data = letters)) # no matching # }
Documentation reproduced from package rlang, version 0.2.0, License: GPL-3

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