Re: [Rd] [R] Version control (git, mercurial) for R packages

From: Rainer M Krug <>
Date: Fri, 10 Feb 2012 09:11:35 +0100

Hash: SHA1

CCd to r-devel as suggested by Peter.

On 09/02/12 19:28, Hadley Wickham wrote:

>>> I'm exploring using a version control system to keep better
>>> track of changes to the packages I maintain. I'm leaning
>>> towards git (although mercurial also looks good) but am not
>>> sure what is the best way to set up the repository. It seems I
>>> can't set the repository directly within the R package main
>>> directory, since it will be incompatible with the standard
>>> package structure. I can set the repository in the directory
>>> that contains my R packages, but then I have a single
>>> repository for all of my packages, which is not ideal.
>> Git is nice - but if you ar looking for simplicity in usage for
>> R packages, I guess r-forge and rforge are the easiest to use.

> I think git + github is substantially easier to use, especially if
> you want to incorporate patches from the community.
>> But I would be interested in the workflow when using github as
>> the main VCS.

> The thing that has made this really successful for me is the
> install_github function in devtools. Then it's easy for people to
> try out development versions:
> install.packages("devtools") library(devtools)
> install_github("myrepo", "myusername")

Thanks Hadley - I should definitely look closer into the devtools package - there really seem to be some gems in there. One example is this function - sounds perfect for small scale usages and for developers.

But what I was thinking about (in my other post as well) is to include github (or any other git repo provider) into r-forge for the automatic creation of packages.

So is there an easy way to kind of push a certain revision up to r-forge to have the automatic builds?
One could do it manualy, but automatic would be so much nicer.

> This requires a working R development environment but thanks to
> the hard work of Simon Urbanek, Duncan Murdoch, Brian Ripley and
> others, this is a one-install process on all major platforms.

True - no problem for developers.



> Hadley

Centre of Excellence for Invasion Biology Stellenbosch University
South Africa

Tel :       +33 - (0)9 53 10 27 44
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Fax :       +33 - (0)9 58 10 27 44

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Skype: RMkrug
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