[R] What is the most efficient practice to develop an R package?

Martin Morgan mtmorgan at fhcrc.org
Mon Oct 26 15:57:55 CET 2009

Peng Yu wrote:
> I am reading Section 5 and 6 of
> http://cran.r-project.org/doc/contrib/Leisch-CreatingPackages.pdf
> It seems that I have to do the following two steps in order to make an
> R package. But when I am testing these package, these two steps will
> run many times, which may take a lot of time. So when I still develop
> the package, shall I always source('linmod.R') to test it. Once the
> code in linmod.R is finalized, then I run the following two steps?
> I'm wondering what people usually do when developing packages.
> 1. Run the following command in R to create the package
> package.skeleton(name="linmod", code_files="linmod.R")

Do this once, to get a skeleton. Then edit the R source etc in the
created package.

> 2. Run the following command in shell to install
> R CMD INSTALL -l /path/to/library linmod

see R CMD INSTALL --help and use options that minimize the amount of
non-essential work, e.g., no vignettes or documentation until that is
the focus of your development, or --libs-only if you are working on C
code. Use --clean to avoid stale package components. Develop individual
functions interactively, but write a script


so that R -f myscript.R allows you to easily load your package and test
specific functionality in a clean R session.


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Martin Morgan
Computational Biology / Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center
1100 Fairview Ave. N.
PO Box 19024 Seattle, WA 98109

Location: Arnold Building M1 B861
Phone: (206) 667-2793

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