srcfile {base}R Documentation

References to Source Files and Code


These functions are for working with source files and more generally with “source references” ("srcref"), i.e., references to source code. The resulting data is used for printing and source level debugging, and is typically available in interactive R sessions, namely when options(keep.source = TRUE).


srcfile(filename, encoding = getOption("encoding"), Enc = "unknown")
srcfilecopy(filename, lines, timestamp = Sys.time(), isFile = FALSE)
srcfilealias(filename, srcfile)
getSrcLines(srcfile, first, last)
srcref(srcfile, lloc)
## S3 method for class 'srcfile'
print(x, ...)
## S3 method for class 'srcfile'
summary(object, ...)
## S3 method for class 'srcfile'
open(con, line, ...)
## S3 method for class 'srcfile'
close(con, ...)
## S3 method for class 'srcref'
print(x, useSource = TRUE, ...)
## S3 method for class 'srcref'
summary(object, useSource = FALSE, ...)
## S3 method for class 'srcref'
as.character(x, useSource = TRUE, to = x, ...)



The name of a file.


The character encoding to assume for the file.


The encoding with which to make strings: see the encoding argument of parse.


A character vector of source lines. Other R objects will be coerced to character.


The timestamp to use on a copy of a file.


Is this srcfilecopy known to come from a file system file?


A srcfile object.

first, last, line

Line numbers.


A vector of four, six or eight values giving a source location; see ‘Details’.

x, object, con

An object of the appropriate class.


Whether to read the srcfile to obtain the text of a srcref.


An optional second srcref object to mark the end of the character range.


Additional arguments to the methods; these will be ignored.


These functions and classes handle source code references.

The srcfile function produces an object of class srcfile, which contains the name and directory of a source code file, along with its timestamp, for use in source level debugging (not yet implemented) and source echoing. The encoding of the file is saved; see file for a discussion of encodings, and iconvlist for a list of allowable encodings on your platform.

The srcfilecopy function produces an object of the descendant class srcfilecopy, which saves the source lines in a character vector. It copies the value of the isFile argument, to help debuggers identify whether this text comes from a real file in the file system.

The srcfilealias function produces an object of the descendant class srcfilealias, which gives an alternate name to another srcfile. This is produced by the parser when a #line directive is used.

The getSrcLines function reads the specified lines from srcfile.

The srcref function produces an object of class srcref, which describes a range of characters in a srcfile. The lloc value gives the following values:

c(first_line, first_byte, last_line, last_byte, first_column,
  last_column, first_parsed, last_parsed)

Bytes (elements 2, 4) and columns (elements 5, 6) may be different due to multibyte characters. If only four values are given, the columns and bytes are assumed to match. Lines (elements 1, 3) and parsed lines ( elements 7, 8) may differ if a #line directive is used in code: the former will respect the directive, the latter will just count lines. If only 4 or 6 elements are given, the parsed lines will be assumed to match the lines.

Methods are defined for print, summary, open, and close for classes srcfile and srcfilecopy. The open method opens its internal file connection at a particular line; if it was already open, it will be repositioned to that line.

Methods are defined for print, summary and as.character for class srcref. The as.character method will read the associated source file to obtain the text corresponding to the reference. If the to argument is given, it should be a second srcref that follows the first, in the same file; they will be treated as one reference to the whole range. The exact behaviour depends on the class of the source file. If the source file inherits from class srcfilecopy, the lines are taken from the saved copy using the “parsed” line counts. If not, an attempt is made to read the file, and the original line numbers of the srcref record (i.e., elements 1 and 3) are used. If an error occurs (e.g., the file no longer exists), text like <srcref: "file" chars 1:1 to 2:10> will be returned instead, indicating the line:column ranges of the first and last character. The summary method defaults to this type of display.

Lists of srcref objects may be attached to expressions as the "srcref" attribute. (The list of srcref objects should be the same length as the expression.) By default, expressions are printed by print.default using the associated srcref. To see deparsed code instead, call print with argument useSource = FALSE. If a srcref object is printed with useSource = FALSE, the <srcref: ...> record will be printed.

.isOpen is intended for internal use: it checks whether the connection associated with a srcfile object is open.


srcfile returns a srcfile object.

srcfilecopy returns a srcfilecopy object.

getSrcLines returns a character vector of source code lines.

srcref returns a srcref object.


Duncan Murdoch

See Also

getSrcFilename for extracting information from a source reference, or removeSource to remove it from a (non-primitive) function (aka ‘closure’).


 # has timestamp
src <- srcfile(system.file("DESCRIPTION", package = "base"))
getSrcLines(src, 1, 4)
ref <- srcref(src, c(1, 1, 2, 1000))
print(ref, useSource = FALSE)

[Package base version 3.3.2 Index]