Re: [Rd] import question

From: Prof Brian Ripley <>
Date: Thu, 24 Mar 2011 04:30:31 +0000

On Thu, 24 Mar 2011, Ben Bolker wrote:

> Ben Bolker <bbolker <at>> writes:
>> I have been struggling all day to import a particular function/method
>> combination (ranef(), which extracts the random effects from a mixed
>> model fit) from the nlme package into another package ... so far without
>> success.
> Answered my own question, finally.
> Apparently an explicit
> export(ranef)
> is required, even though there is also an
> exportPattern("^[^\\.]")
> in the NAMESPACE file, which I would have thought would
> export 'ranef' along with everything else ... ?

It exports everything excpet dot-namesin the package's namespace. Imports are not in the namespace per se, but in the import environment (which is the enclosure of the namespace). Here is the actual code:

         for (p in nsInfo$exportPatterns)
             exports <- c(ls(env, pattern = p, all.names = TRUE), exports)

So to re-export a function, you need to do so explicitly.

It is consdered good practice not to use exportPattern() (at least, not for broadly defined patterns) in production code: see the current 'Writing R Extensions'. Otherwise things may change under you (what nlme exports has changed recently, hence what import(nlme) brings it has).

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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