[R] Possible to get a definition of a function from a package to use without invoking the package?

Duncan Murdoch murdoch at stats.uwo.ca
Tue Jun 27 21:22:16 CEST 2006

On 6/27/2006 2:55 PM, Waichler, Scott R wrote:
> Hi,
> I often use the mod() and instring() functions that are available in the
> clim.pact package.  This package has a lot of dependencies, including
> installation of netCDF, and I haven't yet been able to get
> library(clim.pact) to work on a Mac OS 10.4.6.  A previous request for
> help with the Mac problem yielded no results, so now I wonder if I could
> just extract the definitions for the couple of functions that I need and
> save them in my own file of R functions.  

I'm not sure what you mean by this question.

Technically you can do that.

Legally you can do it because clim.pact is GPL'd.

It's a slightly rude thing to do if you end up redistributing the 
functions, so I'd check with the author first.

It may cause you weird problems in the future if you decide to use both 
your functions and clim.pact at the same time, especially if one of them 
has mutated in the meantime.

I'd suggest the best approach is to work with the clim.pact author to 
get that package working on your platform.

By the way, mod() is available as a basic R operator, namely %%.  It 
provides different results in some cases, e.g.

 > -5 %% 2
[1] 1
 > mod(-5, 2)
[1] -1

so be careful about your definitions.  I don't know a simple substitute 
for instring().

Duncan Murdoch

I'm pretty sure that mod() and
> instring() are very basic and don't have any exotic dependencies.  I did
> find an alternative mod() in the new matlab package, and that's fine.
> Now I just need another way to get the instring() functionality.
> Thanks,
> Scott Waichler
> Pacific Northwest National Laboratory
> scott.waichler _at_ pnl.gov
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