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usedthese is a family of functions to summarise R package & function usage in Quarto documents consistent with knitr’s syntax highlighting:

  1. used_here() adds a nicely-rendered summary table of usage to a single document;

  2. used_there() harvests and consolidates the tables created above ready for site-wide analysis;

  3. used_elsewhere() harvests tables for opted-in websites to enable analysis of a broader view of usage [Planned];

  4. used_where() finds pages on your website (or opted-in websites) that use a specified function [Planned].

Example Use Case

Each “little project” on the Quarto website focuses on a data science technique or machine learning model to analyse real-world data. At the foot of each of these is a quantified view of the R packages and functions used in the associated code. This is achieved by including used_here() in each Quarto document.

used_there() scrapes all the tables created by used_here() to enable a Favourite Things article on how R packages and functions are used across the website.

I personally find this approach makes it easier for me to check for consistency of usage, acknowledge the packages I most need to keep abreast of (or go deeper on), and spot opportunities for updates to the latest and greatest.

When the Tidyverse blog announced changes to dplyr and purrr a quick review of my Favourite Things identified a number of opportunities to try out the exciting new features. For example, dplyr introduced temporary grouping with the .by argument for mutate and amigos. group_by() and ungroup() had been used many times and most of these occurrences could be replaced with the new more concise approach.

There’s a nice additional benefit too. Quarto websites have a search bar. And whilst the results exclude code, they include the contents of the usage table. So, for example, if you search for “separate_wider_regex” you can find any project using that function.


You can install the development version of usedthese from GitHub with:

# install.packages("devtools")