[R] Storing and managing custom R functions for re-use

Barry Rowlingson b.rowlingson at lancaster.ac.uk
Sat Jul 9 16:21:28 CEST 2011

On Sat, Jul 9, 2011 at 2:37 PM, Abhijit Dasgupta, PhD
<aikidasgupta at gmail.com> wrote:
> I think most of us are in a similar situation. I've usually kept mine in a
> file which is sourced when I start R. The main problem I have with this is
> that it clutters up my environment with a lot of stuff I don't need all the
> time. I'm in the process of creating a custom package which will be
> lazy-loaded. I believe a previous discussion of this topic suggested this as
> the preferred method.

If you dont want to make a package there's a few ways of doing this
without cluttering up your environment. For example:

 * Create a functions.RData from your functions.R file whenever you
edit your functions.R file, by starting a vanilla R session, sourcing
functions.R, then using save. Then in your working sessions just
attach/detach the functions.RData file.

 * Create a new environment, source functions.R into it, and attach
it. Something like:

 e = new.env()

 now the functions defined in functions.R are in the 'e' environment,
and since e is attached R will find them.

 Some R authors have written systems for doing this kind of thing,
with easy ways of updating when the source changes. See, I think,
mvbutils on CRAN, for this kind of thing on steroids.


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