[R] developing package: dealing with namespaces

Duncan Murdoch murdoch.duncan at gmail.com
Mon Feb 4 20:03:58 CET 2013

On 04/02/2013 1:48 PM, Barry Rowlingson wrote:
> 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.

Thanks for the pointer.  I hadn't tried that.

Duncan Murdoch
> 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.
> Barry
> [1] for some value of "best"

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