I’ve written on this topic before (ref), and I have taped some new comments. This sort of pipe is a combination of function composition and function application.
My feeling is: argument inserting syntax translation is indeed a tempting way to go. I think this misses some great coding opportunities that arise when one can guarantee the piped entity is a realized value and also use placeholders. Also a lot is lost when one fails to work out some of the niceties in piping into expressions instead of just functions. But, I understand nobody has asked me.
Function oriented syntax transform appears to be both what RStudio wants, and what R-core is implementing (please keep in mind, these are two different actors in the R-space). So it is what it is.
Data Scientist and trainer at Win Vector LLC. One of the authors of Practical Data Science with R.