The [[ method works for all oce objects, i.e. objects inheriting from oce. The purpose is to insulate users from the internal details of oce objects, by looking for items within the various storage slots of the object. Items that are not actually stored in the object can also be extracted, including derived data such as potential temperature, the units of measurement for the data, data-quality flags, etc.

# S4 method for adv
[[(x, i, j, ...) <- value



an adv object.


Character string indicating the name of an item to extract.


Optional additional information on the i item.


Optional additional information (ignored).


The value to be inserted into x.


If the adv object holds slow variables (i.e. if timeSlow is in the data slot), then assigning to .e.g. heading will not actually assign to a variable of that name, but instead assigns to headingSlow. To catch misapplication of this rule, an error message will be issued if the assigned value is not of the same length as timeSlow.

A two-step process is used to try to find the requested information. First, a class-specific function tries to find it, but if that fails, then a general function is used (see next section).

Details of the general method

If the specialized method produces no matches, the following generalized method is applied. As with the specialized method, the procedure hinges first on the values of i and, optionally, j. The work proceeds in steps, by testing a sequence of possible conditions in sequence.

  1. A check is made as to whether i names one of the standard oce slots. If so, [[ returns the slot contents of that slot. Thus, x[["metadata"]] will retrieve the metadata slot, while x[["data"]] and x[["processingLog"]] return those slots.

  2. If i is a string ending in the "Unit", then the characters preceding that string are taken to be the name of an item in the data object, and a list containing the unit is returned. This list consists of an item named unit, which is an expression(), and an item named scale, which is a string describing the measurement scale. If the string ends in " unit", e.g. x[["temperature unit"]] (note the space), then just the expression is returned, and if it ends in " scale", then just the scale is returned.

  3. If i is a string ending in "Flag", then the corresponding data-quality flag is returned (or NULL if there is no such flag). For example, x[["salinityFlag"]] returns a vector of salinity flags if x is a ctd object.

  4. If i is "sigmaTheta", then the value of swSigmaTheta() is called with x as the sole argument, and the results are returned. Similarly, swSigma0() is used if i="sigma0", and swSpice() is used if i="spice". Of course, these actions only make sense for objects that contain the relevant items within their data slot.

  5. After these possibilities are eliminated, the action depends on whether j has been provided. If j is not provided, or is the string "", then i is sought in the metadata slot, and then in the data slot, returning whichever is found first. In other words, if j is not provided, the metadata slot takes preference over the data slot. However, if j is provided, then it must be either the string "metadata" or "data", and it directs where to look.

If none of the above-listed conditions holds, then NULL is returned, without the issuance of a warning or error message. (This silent operation is employed so that [[ will behave like the normal R version.)

See also