[R] Summary: Warnings with no INDEX file in a package

David Kane <David Kane a296180 at arbres1a.fmr.com
Thu Jan 23 20:18:02 CET 2003

Thanks to Henrik Bengtsson, Martin Maechler, Brian Ripley, Jeff Gentry and
David Brahm for taking the time to answer my questions about INDEX files in R

My key take-aways were:

1) All of this will be changing a lot in R 1.7.0-to-be, so don't sweat the

2) Many people run R CMD build before they run R CMD check. I found this quite
   surprising. I did not realize that R CMD build actually *changes* the contents
   of your package by, at least, adding an INDEX file if one is not there. I do
   not see this behavior documented in the help for R CMD build. As a simple

agate|tmp> ls pyri.check
agate|tmp> R CMD build pyri.check
* checking for file 'pyri.check/DESCRIPTION' ... OK
* preparing 'pyri.check':
* checking whether 'INDEX' is up-to-date ... NO
* creating new 'INDEX'
* removing junk files
* building 'pyri.check_1.5.tar.gz'

agate|tmp> ls pyri.check
CVS		INDEX		inst

When I first run R CMD check, I get a warning about the lack of an INDEX. But,
since R CMD build creates the index for me, I can now run R CMD check and get
no warnings.

My mistake was to interpret:

"* creating new 'INDEX'"

to mean:

"Making an INDEX file and putting it in your .gz file while leaving your
original package unchanged."

Thanks to all for clarifying this for me.

Dave Kane

David Kane
Geode Capital Management
david.d.kane at fmr.com
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