[Rd] dealing with package bundles (was RE: [R] Gregmisc)

Liaw, Andy andy_liaw at merck.com
Thu Mar 10 17:04:07 CET 2005

Given the confusions that some users have regarding package bundles, I'd
like to suggest some changes to how package bundles are handled.

My understanding is that a package bundle is essentially a convenient way to
distribute related packages, so that users can download/install them in one
shot.  However, some users apparently get confused that one can do
install.packages("abundle") but can't do library("abundle").  I think it
might be worthwhile having library() (or it's to-be replacement(s)) do
something more informative, if the argument is the name of a bundle, instead
of a package.  Examples are:

- Give an error that says that's a package bundle, and the constituent
packages need to be loaded individually.

- Load all of the packages in the bundle, but issue an warning.

- (More elaborate) give a menu of packages and ask the user to choose which
one to load.

(Come to think of it, it would be nice for library() to be able to load
multiple packages in one go...)

One problem that I can see is that it seems like once a package bundle is
installed, R basically has no knowledge that the packages belong to one
bundle, other than the fact that the DESCRIPTION files of the packages have
entries that indicate that they are part of a bundle.  Are there ways to
figure out such information other than checking packageDescription() of all
installed packages?


> From: Marc Schwartz
> On Thu, 2005-03-10 at 14:44 +0100, Christian Kamenik wrote:
> > Dear all,
> > 
> > I use R 2.0.1 on Windows XP professional. When I want to load the 
> > 'Gregmisc' library I get the following error message:
> > 
> > Error in library(pkg, character.only = TRUE) :  'gregmisc' is not a 
> > valid package -- installed < 2.0.0?
> > 
> > Can anybody tell me what's wrong with this package?
> gregmisc is a _bundle_, not a package. It is now comprised of four
> separate packages:
> 1. gtools
> 2. gdata
> 3. gmodels
> 4. gplots
> You will need to load the particular package that you wish to use or
> load all four if you wish.
> HTH,
> Marc Schwartz
> ______________________________________________
> R-help at stat.math.ethz.ch mailing list
> https://stat.ethz.ch/mailman/listinfo/r-help
> PLEASE do read the posting guide! 
> http://www.R-project.org/posting-guide.html

More information about the R-devel mailing list