[Rd] Can DESCRIPTION Maintainer: field contain general URL instead of only email address?

From: William Dunlap <wdunlap_at_tibco.com>
Date: Fri, 03 Oct 2008 11:01:11 -0700


Our firm would like to route support requests through a website instead of using email. However R will refuse to install a package if DESCRIPTION's Maintainer field does not have a valid email adress or the special value "ORPHANED". (The check is done with
tools:::.valid_maintainer_field_regexp.)

I imagine a typical Maintainer line for the package "foo" might be something like

   Maintainer: Amalgamated Widget's Support Team <http://support.amalgamatedwidgets.com/spackage?name=foo>

How much does the package system (or CRAN) depend on the Maintainer field being an email address? I can imagine programs would find mailing to an address easier than dealing with a website, but humans would have a better experience with a well designed website. Perhaps we could add an optional %s field to the website so a program could post a small message.

Bill Dunlap
TIBCO Spotfire Inc.
wdunlap tibco.com



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