Re: [R] Creating a minimal package

From: Douglas Bates <>
Date: Tue 13 Jul 2004 - 23:49:04 EST

Duncan Murdoch wrote:
> On Mon, 12 Jul 2004 15:14:27 +0200, Uwe Ligges
> <> wrote :

>>Gabor Grothendieck wrote:

>>>The objective should be that creating a package is as easy as this:
>>>   f <- function()1; g <- function()2; d <- 3; e <- 4:5
>>>   package.skeleton(list=c("f","g","d","e"), name="AnExample")
>>>   library(AnExample)
>>>   f()
>>>which means that the package needs to be inserted where library will
>>>find it. It should not be necessary to have an understanding of this.
>>OK, I understand what you are going to do, but in that case you can use 
>>dump() into an *.R or save() into an *.RData file and use 
>>source()/load() to load it again. I don't see any advantage of a package 
>>if you don't want to modify documentation or other stuff in the package.
>>Also, you would need the tools to make a binary package from the source 
>>package somewhere. package.skeleton() is clearly not intended to be used 
>>for that purpose, but to create the template for your source package.
>>Hence the default should not be changed.

> I agree with both of you on this. Currently the method that Uwe
> describes is a lot easier than creating a package, but I think the
> objective should be to make things almost as easy as Gabor describes.
> Not completely as easy: he's missing the step where the package is
> installed. I think we want to keep that (because the distinction
> between the source of a package and the installed copy of it is
> important), but it should be easier to install a new package than it
> is now, especially in Windows. So I'm suggesting that it would be
> nice to be able to do something like this:
> f <- function()1; g <- function()2; d <- 3; e <- 4:5
> package.skeleton(list=c("f","g","d","e"), name="AnExample")
> install.packages("AnExample", build = TRUE)
> library(AnExample)
> f()
> but currently install.packages doesn't know how to build, and for most
> Windows users, a fairly substantial effort is necessary to obtain all
> the tools.
> Duncan Murdoch

I haven't checked on the installation tools under Windows but I think that most, if not all, of the creation and installation of a binary package (i.e. building indices, etc.) could be done in R for packages that do not require compilation of source code and provided that you are willing to go without some forms of the man pages. mailing list PLEASE do read the posting guide! Received on Tue Jul 13 23:55:03 2004

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