[Rd] [patch] giving library() a 'version' argument

Ken Williams Ken.Williams at windlogics.com
Wed Apr 11 17:28:02 CEST 2012

I've made a small enhancement to R that would help developers better control what versions of code we're using where.  Basically, to load a package in R, one currently does:


and with the enhancement, you can ensure that you're getting at least version X of the package:

                library(whateverPackage, version=3.14)

Reasons one might want this include:

  * you know that in version X some bug was fixed
  * you know that in version X some feature was added
  * that's the first version you've actually tested it with & you don't want to vouch for earlier versions without testing
  * you develop on one machine & deploy on another machine you don't control, and you want runtime checks that the sysadmin installed what they were supposed to install

In general, I have an interest in helping R get better at various things that would help it play in a "production environment", for various values of that term. =)

The attached patch is made against revision 58980 of https://svn.r-project.org/R/trunk .  I think this is the first patch I've submitted to the R core, so please let me know if anything's amiss, or of course if there are reservations about the approach.


Ken Williams, Senior Research Scientist

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