[R] Package struction question (second try)

John W Emerson john.emerson at yale.edu
Thu Jun 22 18:16:52 CEST 2006

Sorry, gmail seemed to have made an attachment out of my first attempted 
post.  Trying again:


At the encouragement of many at UseR, I'm trying to build my first real
package. I have no C/Fortran code, just plain old R code, so it should be
rocket science.  On a Linux box, I used package.skeleton() to create a 
basic package containing just one "hello world" type of function.  I 
edited the DESCRIPTION file, changin the package name appropriately.  I 
edited the hello.Rd file.  Upon running R CMD check hello, the only 
warning had to do with the fact that src/ was empty (obviously I had no 
source in such a simple package).  I doubt this is a problem.

I was able to install and use the package successfully on the Linux system
from the .tar.gz file, so far so good!  Next, on to Windows, where the
problem arose:

I created a zip file from inside the package directory:

zip -r ../hello.zip ./*

When I moved this to my Windows machine and tried to install the package 
using the GUI, I received the following error:

> utils:::menuInstallLocal()
Error in unpackPkg(pkgs[i], pkgnames[i], lib, installWithVers) :
         malformed bundle DESCRIPTION file, no Contains field

I only found one mention of this in my Google search, with no reply to the
thread.  The Contains field appears to be used for bundles, but I'm trying
to create a package, not a bundle.  This leads me to believe that a simple
zipping of the package directory structure is not the correct format for

Needless to say, there appears to be wide agreement that making packages
requires precision, but fundamentally a package should (as described in 
documentation) just be a collection of files and folders organized a 
way.  If someone could point me to documentation I may have missed that
explains this, I would be grateful.



John W. Emerson (Jay)
Assistant Professor of Statistics
Yale University

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