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In a hidden chunk here, I “export” the internal helpers covered below.

User-facing messages

Everything should be emitted by helpers in utils-ui.R: specifically, gs4_bullets() and, for errors, gs4_abort(). These helpers are wrappers around cli::cli_inform() and cli::cli_abort(), respectively.

  " " = "indent",
  "*" = "bullet",
  ">" = "arrow",
  "v" = "Doing good stuff for YOU the user",
  "x" = "Nope nope nope",
  "!" = "You might want to know about this",
  "i" = "The more you know!"
#> noindent
#>   indent
#> • bullet
#> → arrow
#>  Doing good stuff for YOU the user
#>  Nope nope nope
#> ! You might want to know about this
#>  The more you know!

The helpers encourage consistent styling and make it possible to selectively silence messages coming from googlesheets4. The googlesheets4 message helpers:

  • Use the cli package to get interpolation, inline markup, and pluralization.
  • Use googlesheets4’s custom theme, which has styles for Sheet name, worksheet name, and range.
  • Eventually route through rlang::inform(), which is important because inform() prints to standard output in interactive sessions. This means that informational messages won’t have the same “look” as errors and can generally be more stylish, at least in IDEs like RStudio.
  • Are under the control of the "googlesheets4_quiet" option. If it’s unset, the default is to show messages (unless we’re testing, i.e. the environment variable TESTTHAT is "true"). googlesheets4_quiet = TRUE will suppress messages. There are withr-style convenience helpers: local_gs4_quiet() and with_gs4_quiet().

Inline styling

How we use the inline classes:

  • .s_sheet for the name of Google Sheet (custom)
  • .w_sheet for the name of a worksheet (custom)
  • .range for an A1-style range or named range (custom)
  • .code for a column in a data frame and for reserved words, such as NULL, TRUE, and NA
  • .arg, .fun, .path, .cls, .url. .email for their usual purpose

These may not demo well via pkgdown, but the interactive experience is nice.

nm <- "name-of-a-Google-Sheet"
gs4_bullets(c(v = "Creating new Sheet: {.s_sheet {nm}}"))
#>  Creating new Sheet: name-of-a-Google-Sheet

nm <- "name-of-a-worksheet"
gs4_bullets(c(v = "Protecting cells on sheet: {.w_sheet {nm}}"))
#>  Protecting cells on sheet: name-of-a-worksheet

rg <- "A3:B20"
gs4_bullets(c(v = "Writing to the range: {.range {rg}}"))
#>  Writing to the range: A3:B20

Above, I don’t include a period (.) at the end of a message with the form: Description of thing: THING. I view it as a special case of a bullet list of simple items, which also don’t get periods. (bulletize() comes from gargle.)

  "We're going to list some things:",
#> We're going to list some things:
#> • Jan
#> • Feb
#> • Mar
#> • Apr

Other messages that are complete sentence, or at least aspire to be, do get a period.

gs4_bullets("Doing the stuff you asked me to do.")
#> Doing the stuff you asked me to do.

  "You probably need to do one of these things:",
  "*" = "Call {.fun some_function}.",
  "*" = "Provide more specific input via {.arg some_argument}."
#> You probably need to do one of these things:
#> • Call `some_function()`.
#> • Provide more specific input via `some_argument`.

Most relevant cli docs:


cli’s pluralization is awesome!

nm <- "name-of-a-Google-Sheet"
n_new <- 1
gs4_bullets(c(v = "Adding {n_new} sheet{?s} to {.s_sheet {nm}}"))
#>  Adding 1 sheet to name-of-a-Google-Sheet

n_new <- 3
gs4_bullets(c(v = "Adding {n_new} sheet{?s} to {.s_sheet {nm}}"))
#>  Adding 3 sheets to name-of-a-Google-Sheet


Collapsing lists of things is great! Also more pluralization.

new_sheet_names <- c("apple", "banana", "cherry")
gs4_bullets(c("New sheet{?s}: {.w_sheet {new_sheet_names}}"))
#> New sheets: apple, banana, and cherry

new_sheet_names <- "kumquat"
gs4_bullets(c("New sheet{?s}: {.w_sheet {new_sheet_names}}"))
#> New sheet: kumquat

Tricky stuff

If you want to see some tricky examples of building up a message from parts, look here:


Use gs4_abort() instead of rlang::abort() or stop(). So far, I’m not really using ... to put data in the condition, but I could start when/if there’s a reason to.

abort_unsupported_conversion() is a wrapper around gs4_abort().

x <- structure(1, class = c("a", "b", "c"))
abort_unsupported_conversion(x, to = "SheetThing")
#> Error in `abort_unsupported_conversion()`:
#> ! Don't know how to make an instance of <SheetThing> from
#>   something of class <a/b/c>.

abort_unsupported_conversion() exists to standardize a recurring type of error message, usually encountered during development, not by end-users. I use it a lot in the default method of an as_{to}() generic.

There’s not much to add here re: errors, now that cli::cli_abort() exists. Error messages are formed just like informational messages now.