methods-package {methods}R Documentation

Formal Methods and Classes


Formally defined methods and classes for R objects, plus other programming tools, as described in the references.


This package provides the “S4” or “S version 4” approach to methods and classes in a functional language.

For a complete list of functions and classes, use library(help="methods").


R Development Core Team

Maintainer: R Core Team


The R package methods implements, with a few exceptions, the programming interface for classes and methods in the book Programming with Data (John M. Chambers, Springer, 1998), in particular sections 1.6, 2.7, 2.8, and chapters 7 and 8.

While the programming interface for the methods package follows the reference, the R software is an original implementation, so details in the reference that reflect the S4 implementation may appear differently in R. Also, there are extensions to the programming interface developed more recently than the reference. For a discussion of details see ?Methods and the links from that documentation.

[Package methods version 2.5.0 Index]