Re: [Rd] Re: Packages and Libraries (was: Re: lme4 "package" etc

From: Prof Brian Ripley <>
Date: Wed 09 Feb 2005 - 20:29:34 EST

On Tue, 8 Feb 2005, Jeff Gentry wrote:

> On Wed, 9 Feb 2005, Achim Zeileis wrote:
>> A *library* is a directory in which you can find R *packages* (just as
>> in real life you can find books in a library) and with
>> library("foo", lib.loc = "/path/to/bar")
>> you want to get the package (book) "foo" from the library "bar" located
>> at "/path/to/bar".
> Out of pure curiosity, could anyone tell me the historical reason that
> library() is used here? Does it tie in to the S ancestry of R?

It's been the way S does it since ca 1987 (when the Blue Book version of S first made S extensible via functions as today). See the 1988 Blue Book p.58. The only difference (as I have already noted) is that the S library has `sections' not `packages'.

Brian D. Ripley,        
Professor of Applied Statistics,
University of Oxford,             Tel:  +44 1865 272861 (self)
1 South Parks Road,                     +44 1865 272866 (PA)
Oxford OX1 3TG, UK                Fax:  +44 1865 272595

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