R gotcha for the week

March 15, 2012
By

(This article was first published on What You're Doing Is Rather Desperate » R, and kindly contributed to R-bloggers)

I use the biomaRt package from Bioconductor in almost every R session. So I thought I’d load the library and set up a mart instance in my ~/.Rprofile:

library(biomaRt)
mart.hs <- useMart(biomart = "ensembl", dataset = "hsapiens_gene_ensembl")

On starting R, I was somewhat perplexed to see this error message:

Error in bmVersion(mart, verbose = verbose) : 
  could not find function "read.table"

Twitter to the rescue. @hadleywickham told me to load utils first and @vsbuffalo explained that normally, .Rprofile is read before the utils package is loaded. Seems rather odd to me; I’d have thought that biomaRt should load utils if required, but there you go.

So this works in ~/.Rprofile:

library(utils)
library(biomaRt)
mart.hs <- useMart(biomart = "ensembl", dataset = "hsapiens_gene_ensembl")

Filed under: programming, R, research diary, statistics Tagged: bioconductor, biomart

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