renv::use() function can make it easier to define stand-alone R scripts that include their R package requirements directly in the script itself. For example:
Running a script with these contents will:
Automatically download the requested packages – in this case, the latest release of
Install the requested packages (plus their recursive package dependencies) to a temporary library path,
Activate that library path, so that it’s used subsequently in the script.
renv::use() can hence be a useful way of sharing standalone R scripts with a set of specific package requirements. Running these scripts will ensure the requested packages are automatically downloaded and installed.
In addition, you can also supply the path to a lockfile. For example:
# use a particular lockfile in the context of this script renv::use(lockfile = "/path/to/renv.lock") # the rest of this script will run with the packages as declared # in that lockfile installed into a temporary library path
This can be useful in projects where you’d like to associate different lockfiles with different documents – for example, in a blog or a website where you’d like to associate a separate lockfile with each post. Once the post is complete, you could use
renv::snapshot(lockfile = "/path/to/renv.lock") to “save” the state that was active while authoring that lockfile, and then use
renv::use(lockfile = "/path/to/renv.lock") in that document to ensure the blog post is always run using that lockfile on future renders.