Messing with R packages

June 17, 2010

(This article was first published on Nathan VanHoudnos » rstats, and kindly contributed to R-bloggers)

This was really frustrating. I’m trying to modify a package from Matt Johnson and although I could get the package he sent me to install flawlessly, I couldn’t un-tar it, make a change, re-tar it, and then R CMD INSTALL it. I was about to pull out my hair. The error I got was:
ERROR: cannot extract package from ‘hrm-rev9.tar.gz’

The secret: you have to have the name correct.
R CMD INSTALL hrm-rev9.tar.gz
barfs. But
R CMD INSTALL hrm_0.1-9.tar.gz
works fine. I’m sure it’s somewhere in the docs. I just couldn’t find it.

As always, I made a script to do it for me: (Updated 6/17/2010 15:41)

# Quick script to tar & gzip the package, remove the old one, and install the new one
# I'll add options automatically tag and release it later.

#Set the library that I'm using

svn commit -m "Build commit"

#get the revision number from svn
REV=`svn info -R | grep Revision | cut -d: -f 2 | sort -g -r | head -n 1 | sed 's/ //g'`

#Build the filename

# I need to tar up the pkg so I can install it.
# Jump to the parent directory and work from there.
cd ..
# Exclude any hidden files under the directories (svn has a bunch)
# and add the named files
tar czf $FILENAME --exclude '.*' hrm/DESCRIPTION hrm/NAMESPACE hrm/src hrm/R

# Remove the old version of the package

# Install the new package

# Clean up

# Go back to our previous directory
cd hrm

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