[Rd] wishlist: building packages

From: Gabor Grothendieck <ggrothendieck_at_myway.com>
Date: Mon 08 Nov 2004 - 00:50:51 EST

I have collected together some wishlist items from my recent experience in package building. Some of these are also in other posts but I thought I would put them in one place. This all refers to Windows XP R 2.0.1 beta.

  1. Would it be possible to put the whole package building process into R, at least for packages that do not use C, so (a) one could leverage R's debugging facilities? (b) The other problem that this would address is that there are UNIX-like commands used by the scripts on Windows including find which conflicts with a Windows command. Without scripts there would be no conflict. I had to change my PATH to put the UNIX-like tools ahead of the Windows commands which I was really loathe to do. (c) Also, it would presumably make the process more similar on different platforms. It seems that like a significant portion of the package building process is already in R anyways.
  2. The idea of R CMD check is nice. One QA sort of feature that would be nice would be to add some metrics to the output:
    - number of top level functions, number of documented functions
    • number of lines of code for suitable definition of lines Since one normally runs check anyways it would be nice if getting this were just a side effect of running check so that one does not need to issue additional commands.
  3. On windows there can be problems when one uses backslashes in path names, as noted in several recent posts. Perhaps this could be addressed by either a warning, error or changing the process to accept backslashes.
  4. In a recent post it was discussed that sometimes one gets error messages referring to an intermediate R file but no message regarding where to find the file or what its name is.
  5. It seems like there is quite a bit of information to digest to build a package. I found it quite overwhelming. I guess with 400+ packages enough people were able to overcome this but it would still be nice if the prerequisites could be simplified as much as possible. I had successfullly built some small toy packages before to convince myself I could do it but once faced with a larger package (50-100 functions) I came up against problems that I had not previously seen and found I had to know more.
  6. This is not an R problem, per se, but I probably spent about an hour on trying to configure MikTeX to get it to work with the build process. There is probably nothing that can be done as its already documented how to get around them but I hope that MiKTeX gets some improvements here.

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https://stat.ethz.ch/mailman/listinfo/r-devel Received on Mon Nov 08 00:57:13 2004

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