[R] Basic package structure question

From: Jay Emerson <jayemerson_at_gmail.com>
Date: Fri 23 Jun 2006 - 02:08:13 EST

At the encouragement of many at UseR, I'm trying to build my first real package. I have no C/Fortran code, just plain old R code, so it should be rocket science. On a Linux box, I used package.skeleton() to create a basic package containing just one "hello world" type of function. I edited the DESCRIPTION file, changin the package name appropriately. I edited the hello.Rd file. Upon running R CMD check hello, the only warning had to do with the fact that src/ was empty (obviously I had no source in such a simple package). I doubt this is a problem.

I was able to install and use the package successfully on the Linux system from the .tar.gz file, so far so good! Next, on to Windows, where the problem arose:

I created a zip file from inside the package directory: zip -r ../hello.zip ./*

When I moved this to my Windows machine and tried to install the package, I received the following error:

> utils:::menuInstallLocal()

Error in unpackPkg(pkgs[i], pkgnames[i], lib, installWithVers) :

        malformed bundle DESCRIPTION file, no Contains field

I only found one mention of this in my Google search, with no reply to the thread. The Contains field appears to be used for bundles, but I'm trying to create a package, not a bundle. This leads me to believe that a simple zipping of the package directory structure is not the correct format for Windows.

Needless to say, there appears to be wide agreement that making packages requires precision, but fundamentally a package should (as described in the documentation) just be a collection of files and folders organized a certain way. If someone could point me to documentation I may have missed that explains this, I would be grateful.



John W. Emerson (Jay)
Assistant Professor of Statistics
Yale University

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Received on Fri Jun 23 02:13:32 2006

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