[Bioc-devel] What is Bioconductor's position on allowing users to create files in the working directory without an explicit path definition in the filename

Koustav Pal kou@t@v@p@| @end|ng |rom ||om@eu
Fri Mar 22 16:39:18 CET 2019


My package HiCBricks was submitted and accepted under the previous 3.8 release of Bioconductor. 

At the time, during package review, my reviewer had expressed reservations towards my package creating
files in the current working directory.

[REQUIRED] CreateLego() creates HDF5 files in the current directory if no
path is given in the Output.Filename argument. This may clutter the working
directory and it would be better to have the files saved to a temporary file
(or directory) using tempfile() (or tempdir()).

This was with regards to the main output files that were being created by my package. 
I clarified the specific point in question with my reviewer.

The idea behind this package is to create a HDF file for storing high-resolution Hi-C (can be as large as a user wants) data and keep it as a persistent copy which the user can access later without having to reload the file. Therefore, I am a bit averse towards creating a tempfile or tempdir. Using a temporary file would go against this idea and would probably result in the user not having access to the file later. I have incorporated a control statement which will issue a warning regarding file creation inside the current working directory. Is that ok?

Finally, my reviewer suggested that I make use of the BiocFileCache package to create files.

The changes so far look good. I understand that tempfile() isn't a great solution for your package, so may I recommend that you store your data using the BiocFileCache package https://bioconductor.org/packages/release/bioc/html/BiocFileCache.html <https://bioconductor.org/packages/release/bioc/html/BiocFileCache.html> as opposed to automatically saving the file in a local directory. Once this change is made, I should be able to accept the package.

I interpreted this as the reviewer expressing reservation towards files being created in the 
current working directory without the user's explicit requirement. Therefore, I made a working 
implementation of BiocFileCache within my package, which works perfectly fine. 

Yet, users are now facing troubles when having to locate files that they may have created in the current
working directory using the traditional method of var = “something.txt”, because these files were created in 
the BiocFileCache cache during file creation. All the confusion and issue stems from this being a non-traditional 
method of keeping track of files and folders.

What is Bioconductor’s position regarding this issue? 

Can users create files using Bioconductor packages in the current working directory without an explicit path definition in the filename?

Or did I misinterpret the reviewer’s position and this is only a requirement when the package is being build by the builder? 

Koustav Pal,
Post-Doctoral Fellow in Genome Architecture,
Computational Genomics Group,
IFOM - The FIRC Institute of Molecular Oncology,
Via Adamello 16,
20139 Milano, Italy.
Phone: +393441130157
E-mail: koustav.pal using ifom.eu

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