Re: [Rd] R CMD check: non source files in src on (2.3.0 RC (2006-04-19 r37860))

From: Thomas Lumley <tlumley_at_u.washington.edu>
Date: Fri 21 Apr 2006 - 14:31:55 GMT

On Fri, 21 Apr 2006, Kurt Hornik wrote:

>>>>>> Simon Urbanek writes:
>
>> On Apr 20, 2006, at 1:23 PM, Henrik Bengtsson (max 7Mb) wrote:
>>> Is it a general consensus on R-devel that *.tar.gz distributions
>>> should only be treated as a distribution for *building* packages
>>> and not for developing them?
>
> [Actually, distributing so that they can be installed and used.]
>
>> I don't know whether this is a general consensus, but it definitely
>> an important distinction. Some authors put their own Makefiles in src
>> although they are not needed and in fact harmful, preventing the
>> package to build on other systems - only because they are too lazy to
>> use R building mechanism for development and don't make the above
>> distinction.
>
> Right :-)
>
> Henrik, as I think I mentioned the last time you asked about this: of
> course you can basically do everything you want. But it comes at a
> price. For external sources, you need to write a Makefile of your own,
> so as to make it clear that you provide a mechanism which is different
> from the standard one. And, as Simon said, the gain in flexibility
> comes at a price.
>
> Personally and as one of the CRAN maintainers, I'd be very unhappy if
> package maintainers would start flooding their source .tar.gz packages
> with full development environment material. (I am also rather unhappy
> about shipping large data sets which are only used for instructional
> purposes [rather than providing the data set "on its own"].) It is
> simply not true that bandwidth does not matter.

The GPL, for GPL-licensed packages, requires that the source be made available and defines the source as "the preferred form of the work for making modifications to it." If the .tar.gz packages are not the source, then, under the GPL, CRAN is required to provide the source as well, which doesn't seem to be an improvement.

         -thomas

Thomas Lumley			Assoc. Professor, Biostatistics
tlumley@u.washington.edu	University of Washington, Seattle

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