Togaware DATA MINING
Desktop Survival Guide
by Graham Williams
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Information About a Package

Information about a package can be obtained through the library function using the Roption[]help option (to get a formatted description, including an index of objects), or through the packageDescription function. The information includes the basic meta-data about the package (including its name, version, author, and dependencies).



> library(help=rpart)
                Information on package "rpart"

Description:

Package:       rpart
Priority:      recommended
Version:       3.1-23
Date:          March 2002 version of rpart, R version 2005-04-15
Author:        Terry M Therneau and Beth Atkinson <atkinson@mayo.edu>.
               R port by Brian Ripley <ripley@stats.ox.ac.uk>.
Maintainer:    Brian Ripley <ripley@stats.ox.ac.uk>
Description:   Recursive partitioning and regression trees
Title:         Recursive Partitioning
Depends:       R (>= 2.0.0)
Suggests:      survival
License:       use under GPL2, or see file LICENCE
LazyData:      yes
URL:           S-PLUS 6.x original at
               http://www.mayo.edu/hsr/Sfunc.html
Packaged:      Tue Apr 19 11:21:21 2005; ripley
Built:         R 2.1.0; i386-pc-linux-gnu; 2005-04-20 03:10:16; unix


Index:

car.test.frame          Automobile Data from 'Consumer Reports' 1990
cu.summary              Automobile Data from 'Consumer Reports' 1990
kyphosis                Data on Children who have had Corrective
                        Spinal Surgery

[...]



> packageDescription("rpart")
Package: rpart
Priority: recommended
Version: 3.1-38
Date: March 2002 version of rpart, R version 2007-10-03
Author: Terry M Therneau and Beth Atkinson <atkinson@mayo.edu>. R port
        by Brian Ripley <ripley@stats.ox.ac.uk>.
Maintainer: Brian Ripley <ripley@stats.ox.ac.uk>
Description: Recursive partitioning and regression trees
Title: Recursive Partitioning
Depends: R (>= 2.4.0), graphics, stats, grDevices
Suggests: survival
License: GPL-2 | file LICENCE
LazyData: yes
URL: S-PLUS 6.x original at
        http://mayoresearch.mayo.edu/mayo/research/biostat/splusfunctions.cfm
Packaged: Wed Oct 3 13:29:36 2007; ripley
Built: R 2.6.0; x86_64-pc-linux-gnu; 2007-10-04 22:06:50; unix

-- File: /usr/lib/R/library/rpart/DESCRIPTION

To get a specific field:

> packageDescription("rpart", field="Built")
[1] "R 2.6.0; x86_64-pc-linux-gnu; 2007-10-04 22:06:50; unix"

The package help displayed above also includes an index of what the package contains. Each item here will generally have further help available through the help function:

> help(car.test.frame)
car.test.frame             package:rpart             R Documentation

Automobile Data from 'Consumer Reports' 1990

Description:

     The 'car.test.frame' data frame has 60 rows and 8 columns, giving
     data on makes of cars taken from the April, 1990 issue of
     Consumer Reports. This is part of a larger dataset, some columns
     of which are given in 'cu.summary'.
[...]



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