[Rd] Best practices in developing package: From a single file

Dirk Eddelbuettel edd at debian.org
Tue Jan 30 22:12:39 CET 2018


That is a loaded topic, not unlikely other topics preoccupying us these days.

There is package.skeleton() in base R as you already mentioned. It drove me
bonkers that it creates packages which then fail R CMD check, so I wrote a
wrapper package (pkgKitten) with another helper function (kitten()) which
calls the base R helper and then cleans up it---but otherwise remains
faithful to it.

These days pkgKitten defaults to creating per-package top-level help page
that just references content from DESCRIPTION via a set of newer Rd macros as
I find that helps keeping them aligned. The most recent example of mine is
I use either this function or the RStudio template helper all the time.

And similarly, other people written similar helpers. You may get other pointers.

And every couple of months someone writes a new tutorial about how to write a
first package. Then social media goes gaga and we get half a dozen blog posts
where someone celebrates finding said tutorial, reading it and following
through with a new package. 

And many of us taught workshops on creating packages. There is a lot of
material out here, though lots of this material seems to be entirely ignorant
of what came before it.

And there has been lots, including Fritz's tutorial from a decade ago:

    https://epub.ub.uni-muenchen.de/6175/  as well as on CRAN as

So I'd recommend you just experiment and set up your own helpers. After all
the rule still holds: Anything you do more than three times should be a
function, and every function should be in a package. So customize _your_
function to create your package.


http://dirk.eddelbuettel.com | @eddelbuettel | edd at debian.org

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