Re: [Rd] CRAN Server download statistics (Was: R Usage Statistics)

From: Gabor Grothendieck <>
Date: Mon, 23 Nov 2009 19:17:47 -0500

If a package is not broadly using a dependency it can be listed under Suggests: instead.

On Mon, Nov 23, 2009 at 7:09 PM, spencerg <> wrote:
> Beyond what Gabor said, I might download a package that uses "zoo", then use
> "zoo" directly in other contexts without ever downloading it directly.
> †Total downloads would capture that; †top level downloads would not. †The
> flip side is that a package that requires "zoo" may only use it for features
> that I don't use. †This would support the use of top level downloads over
> total downloads. †Spencer
> Gabor Grothendieck wrote:
>> On Mon, Nov 23, 2009 at 3:51 PM, Fellows, Ian <> wrote:
>>> 6. Regarding package dependancies, I was thinking about also counting the
>>> number of top level downloads, as approximated
>>> by the number of downloads where a reverse dependancy was not downloaded
>>> in the next 5 min by the same IP.
>> Top level downloads discriminates against infrastructure packages,
>> i.e. packages that are not necessarily directly used by users or even
>> downloaded directly by users. †It can make it seem as if a package
>> that is widely used, but not directly by users, is barely used at all
>> so total downloads seems a better metric of popularity than top level
>> downloads.
>> I can't find it just now but remember reading a post on another list,
>> or maybe it was his blog, by the author of certain software (not
>> related to R) that was fundamental to Ruby on Rails but as
>> infrastructure would not be directly observed by the user yet Ruby on
>> Rails got all the credit and his key contribution got almost none
>> despite the fact that Ruby on Rails likely would have never achieved
>> its current high level of popularity without his contribution.
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