[Rd] optional package dependency

From: Ross Boylan <ross_at_biostat.ucsf.edu>
Date: Thu, 14 Jan 2010 22:00:10 -0800

I have a package that can use rmpi, but works fine without it. None of the automatic test code invokes rmpi functionality. (One test file illustrates how to use it, but has quit() as its first command.)

What's the best way to handle this? In particular, what is the appropriate form for upload to CRAN?

When I omitted rmpi from the DESCRITPION file R CMD check gave

* checking R code for possible problems ... NOTE alldone: no visible global function definition for ‘mpi.bcast.Robj’ alldone: no visible global function definition for ‘mpi.exit’

followed by many more warnings.

When I add
Suggests: Rmpi
in DESCRIPTION the check stops if the package is not installed:

* checking package dependencies ... ERROR Packages required but not available:

Rmpi is not required, but I gather from previous discussion on this list that suggests basically means required for R CMD check.

NAMESPACE seems to raise similar issues; I don't see any mechanism for optional imports. Also, I have not used namespaces, and am not eager to destabilize things so close to release. At least, I hope I'm close to release :)

Thanks for any advice.

Ross Boylan

P.S. Thanks, Duncan, for your recent advice on my help format problem with R 2.7. I removed the nested \description, and now things look OK.

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