Releasing an R package with several large text files, when to load?

I'm currently creating an R package, and my scripts require before any analysis is done that 3-4 text files be loaded. Normally, I would run the scripts with the following:

session_data = read.table("/path/name/to/filename.txt")

and then refer to session_data throughout the analysis.

However, in order to release this as an R package, I believe that these files must be downloaded at the time on the package installation.

When do I load it and assign it to a variable, e.g. session_data? In a function? In this case, should the function loading the text file be executed about loading the R library, library(package_name)? Is there more appropriate option?

This depends how large your text files are and how and where you plan to distribute the package. has a full discussion of some of the options, but you need to give more details to answer your question fully.

You should definitely not automatically download files when attaching the package.

Hi @jimhester

Thank you for the reply.

I think the remaining question is, is it better to define global variables in a package via onLoad(), or re-define these variables (e.g. session_data = read.table(...)) within an individual function?

Maybe this can help you