[R] developing package: dealing with namespaces

Barry Rowlingson b.rowlingson at lancaster.ac.uk
Mon Feb 4 19:48:05 CET 2013

On Mon, Feb 4, 2013 at 6:23 PM, Duncan Murdoch <murdoch.duncan at gmail.com> wrote:
> On 04/02/2013 12:59 PM, Ross Boylan wrote:
>> I am tweaking an R package for which I have the source; the relevant code
>> is in R not C.   I'm making changes to the package code.
>> What is the best workflow for doing this?  I recall the advice used to be
>> to remove the NAMESPACE during development, but I don't think this is
>> possible anymore.
>> For simplicity, suppose I have an outer level function f defined in f.R
>> and an innder g in g.R defined in the package.
>> My understanding is that if I modify g.R and load it (e.g., C-c C-l in
>> ESS) this will have no effect on the code the f calls, since the latter is
>> in a namespace.
>> If I modify f.R and import it, I'm not sure if it can find g at all if it
>> has not been exported.
>> Web searches and reviewing the R Extensions manual have turned up
>> information on how to trace into functions in namesapces, but not on the
>> larger development cycle.
> I think the best workflow is to do the edits outside of R, and
> re-install the package to test.

Isn't the best[1] workflow to use devtools? Edit the code in-place, do
load_all("packagefolder") and devtools' magic does the rest? Without
polluting the workspace.

Since I started doing that I hardly ever C-c C-l into ESS any more.
All my functions are in packages, sometimes the package is just
created ad-hoc with devtools' create("packagefolder") function.
Lightweight, yet fully-functional packages. Dream.


[1] for some value of "best"

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