Step Three: Decide which kind of Package want to build

Step Three is really pretty simple: Decide what kind of package you want to build. There are two kinds of packages you can build: Packages where all the source is R code, and packages where you also have code written in C, or Fortran, or C++.  This choice determines which tools you will need.  If you also want to build R from source  that will also drive the tools you need.

In short, to build packages that include only R source you do not need any of the compiler tools. The tools you need are tools related to documentation. Let me repeat that because it’s not always clear in other documentation. If you want to build R from source, or build packages that have source code in a language OTHER THAN R, you will need the compiler tools. If you want to build packages that only contain R source code, then you do not need the compilers.

For the rest of this how to guide I am going to focus only on building packages that have R source and R source only in them. I will mention some of the other tools but they will not be my focus. Working with other languages will be the focus of a different How-to Guide.

With that decision explained. We can now go on to step FOUR.


  1. June 5, 2014 at 2:11 PM

    There is no link here in step 3 to step 4 (I’ll get back to the overview, but it would be nice to be able to just click through)

  1. June 9, 2011 at 12:20 AM

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