Asked  7 Months ago    Answers:  5   Viewed   41 times

What is the difference between require() and library()?

 Answers

55

In addition to the good advice already given, I would add this:

It is probably best to avoid using require() unless you actually will be using the value it returns e.g in some error checking loop such as given by thierry.

In most other cases it is better to use library(), because this will give an error message at package loading time if the package is not available. require() will just fail without an error if the package is not there. This is the best time to find out if the package needs to be installed (or perhaps doesn't even exist because it it spelled wrong). Getting error feedback early and at the relevant time will avoid possible headaches with tracking down why later code fails when it attempts to use library routines

Tuesday, June 1, 2021
 
rob_mccann
answered 7 Months ago
98

Just look at the docs:

require_relative complements the builtin method require by allowing you to load a file that is relative to the file containing the require_relative statement.

For example, if you have unit test classes in the "test" directory, and data for them under the test "test/data" directory, then you might use a line like this in a test case:

require_relative "data/customer_data_1"
Tuesday, June 1, 2021
 
Novalirium
answered 7 Months ago
28

Yes. If you have your list of packages, compare it to the output from installed.packages()[,"Package"] and install the missing packages. Something like this:

list.of.packages <- c("ggplot2", "Rcpp")
new.packages <- list.of.packages[!(list.of.packages %in% installed.packages()[,"Package"])]
if(length(new.packages)) install.packages(new.packages)

Otherwise:

If you put your code in a package and make them dependencies, then they will automatically be installed when you install your package.

Tuesday, June 1, 2021
 
Silfverstrom
answered 7 Months ago
76

Try this (see ?detach for more details):

detach("package:vegan", unload=TRUE)

It is possible to have multiple versions of a package loaded at once (for example, if you have a development version and a stable version in different libraries). To guarantee that all copies are detached, use this function.

detach_package <- function(pkg, character.only = FALSE)
{
  if(!character.only)
  {
    pkg <- deparse(substitute(pkg))
  }
  search_item <- paste("package", pkg, sep = ":")
  while(search_item %in% search())
  {
    detach(search_item, unload = TRUE, character.only = TRUE)
  }
}

Usage is, for example

detach_package(vegan)

or

detach_package("vegan", TRUE)
Wednesday, June 9, 2021
 
Vlad
answered 6 Months ago
38

First of all: Do not confuse new require("...") (which invokes require as a constructor) with new (require("...")) (which invokes the return value of the require call as a constructor). You are doing the first one.

require was not intended to be invoked as a constructor with new. That's not Node-idiomatic, and generally weird. You shouldn't do it, since it reduces the readbility of your code. A future reader might easily mistake it for new (require("...")) (i.e., calling new on a constructor that is being returned by require), since normal Node style does not use new with require.

Now, let's talk about actual side effects.

new causes a function to run its [[Construct]] internal method, which takes the following actions:

  • invoke the function with a this set to a newly-created object whose prototype is set to the function's prototype property

  • Return a result:

    • if the function returns an object, return the result of the function
    • if the function returns anything else, return the newly-created this object

The return value new require will be the same as require for all modules whose exports value is non-primitive (which is true of virtually any module; they typically export a plain object or a function, which is also a kind of object). In the rare case that your module does export a primitive, though, then new will deny you access to that value.

The only other possible difference between require(...) and new require(...) is that the new variant is supplied with a different this value. However, require appears to ignore its this value totally. (Note that Module.prototype.require -- a different function from normal require -- does use its this value, but that's only used when you require submodules from a module, using module.require(...).)

Friday, August 6, 2021
 
Kwadz
answered 4 Months ago
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