[R] writing a R package

Thomas Lumley tlumley at u.washington.edu
Fri Jun 28 03:12:56 CEST 2002

On Thu, 27 Jun 2002, Yi-Xiong Zhou wrote:

> Dear Sir/Madam,
> I am trying to write a R package and I found what has been said in the
> "Writing R Extensions" is mostly different from what has been done in the
> existing packages. For example, in MASS package, there is no *.Rd files nor
> *.rd files. There is an R-ex directory, which has all the .R files, which
> should be in the R directory according to the manual. Supprisingly, in the R
> directory, there is a text file without file extension of .R, which has all
> the R functions.
> Could you help me to solve this puzzle? I am lost.

You appear to be looking at the *binary* package.  The documentation
describes the format for the *source* code of a package.

 On operating systems where compiling is difficult, people have provided
compiled binary packages which have a very different format. This format
isn't documented in "Writing R Extensions" because binary packages are
produced by the R INSTALL script, so you don't need to know the format to
write R extensions.

If you go to CRAN you can download the source package for MASS and see
that it does indeed follow the documentation.


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