[R] Creating a minimal package

Liaw, Andy andy_liaw at merck.com
Mon Jul 12 15:16:23 CEST 2004

> From: Gabor Grothendieck
> 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.

To the best of my knowledge (which is not saying much, admittedly) no
version of R on any OS would that work.  package.skeleton() only create the
directory tree and populate it with code and template files.  You still need
to package it up from a shell with R CMD build AnExample (or R CMD build
--binary AnExample for Windows, and maybe Mac?).  Then you need the
install.package("AnExample", CRAN=NULL), before you can actually do

BTW, for functions/objects that you would like to use over and over, but do
not want to go through the hurdle of packaging, there's a fairly simple way
to achieve similar effect: save all of them in a .rda file, and when you
need them, just attach() the .rda file.

Let me bring up the old phrase:  R is Open Source.  If you want something
bad enough, you can try to make it happen yourself.  A good example is the
scripting patch announced on R-devel by Neil McKay.  Neil had provided
patches to various versions of R for a while.  If the packaging situation
bothers you enough, feel free to contribute.  I'm quite sure DM will be
happy to get help...


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