Custom location for ad-hoc package (code)

Is it possible to place a temporary ad-hoc package at an individually choosen location, say ~/code/julia/MyPkg.jl ? The idea is, to gather some initial code in a ‘package-like’ form but - as it is quite temporary/unfinished - to separate it from the real packages.

From the manual (and tests) I suppose that ‘MyPkg.jl’ can only be placed under ~/.julia/v0.5 (or a custom JULIA_PKGDIR location which then is true for all packages).

Is this correct? (Side question: will this be possible with Pkg3?)
Thank you!

1 Like

You can use LOAD_PATH

For example,
push!(LOAD_PATH, "~/code/Julia")

and this can be put into your .juliarc.jl so it loads when Julia starts.

LOAD_PATH works well with e.g. using MyPkg. However my - not mentioned - aim was to generate documentation:

using Documenter

and here I still get an error (Unable to find package…). - Now looking at Documenter.jl:646 I see that Pkg.dir is being used and thus iiuc I’m back to ~/.julia/v0.5 as the only possibility.

Modifying LOAD_PATH won’t help with that. See the docs for generate for how to do it:

help?> Documenter.generate
  generate(pkgname; dir)
  Creates a documentation stub for a package called pkgname. The location of the
  documentation is assumed to be <package directory>/docs, but this can be
  overriden with the keyword argument dir.

So you’ll need to specify the dir you’d like to use:

julia> Documenter.generate("MyPackage", dir = "<directory name>/docs")

Note that the /docs directory is created by generate; you’ll get an error if it already exists.

1 Like

Now it’s working fine :slight_smile:

I tried with a dir argument before but missed that it is a keyword argument and 'dir = ’ is required. ‘LOAD_PATH’ is also helpful for ‘using MyPkg’.

Could you clarify why want to use another directory? Afaics i’m doing package development inside .julia/v0.5 (even without have a remote on github or similar) and apart from some complaints from Pkg.update had no real problems to solve. A package is just a git repository in place.

1 Like

For me ‘.julia’ screams hidden. And it’s where the standard julia package universe resides: Gallium, StaticArrays, RCall, Cxx, Documenter, PyPlot, … If technically necessary I would put my (ad-hoc) packages in there too, but if I have the choice I think they don’t belong there. (And where to put, under v0.4, v0.5 or v0.6)?

[Don’t know about Pkg.update complaints, for me this command is sometimes quite lengthy (homebrew) and I kind of avoid updating if not necessary].

The idea is to organize my own, ad-hoc or developing code, in projects having packages, e.g. ~/code/prj1/MyPkg1.jl, ~/code/pr1/MyPkg2.jl and ~/code/prj2 … The ‘packages’ are just a folder to organize relating code. While not (yet) proper packages, I still sometimes like to use the standard naming, testing and documenting conventions. Sometimes MyPkg1.jl is a git repository, but sometimes, for simplicity, the enclosing folder, prj1 is the repository.

This said, atm I just wait until Pkg3 comes and will then adapt to ‘the rules’.


not only for you. Many of my text editors don’t show hidden files/dirs in file selector dialogs, so i needed to add execeptions. I still find .julia a poor choice for putting packages and code. For config or package information it might be matching. But i guess someone very early in the project found it a good idea and it was never discussed in a larger group. But again, it’s just ‘a’ directory that hold all packages.

Another simple way is to just symlink your package to .julia from whatever path you want to keep it at. It will from julias point of view look like a normally installed package.