[Rd] why is \alias{anRpackage} not mandatory?

From: Thomas Petzoldt <Thomas.Petzoldt_at_tu-dresden.de>
Date: Mon, 06 Oct 2008 11:46:00 +0200

Dear R developers,

if one uses package.skeleton() to create a new package, then a file anRpackage.Rd with the following entries is prepared:


Packages created this way have a definite entry or overview page, so:


gives new users of a certain package a pointer where to start reading.

This is similar for packages which have the same name as their main workhorse function, e.g. zoo or nlme, but there are many packages which don't have an \alias{anRpackage}.

"Writing R Extensions", sec. 2.1.4 says:

"Packages may have an overview man page with an \alias pkgname-package, e.g. `utils-package' for the utils package, when package?pkgname will open that help page. If a topic named pkgname does not exist in another Rd file, it is helpful to use this as an additional \alias."

My question: what speaks against making this sentence more pronounced and why not NOTE-ing a missing package alias in the package check?

Thomas Petzoldt

Thomas Petzoldt
Technische Universitaet Dresden
Institut fuer Hydrobiologie
01062 Dresden


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