[Rd] Wish list

Duncan Murdoch dmurdoch at pair.com
Mon Jan 19 00:47:52 MET 2004

On Sat, 17 Jan 2004 09:33:10 -0500, you wrote:

>I also share your views about namespaces.  These have caused numerous
>problems for me.  It would be nice to have more of a mechanism to put
>"feelers" out to the R user community when major changes are planned. 

Changes always show up in r-devel (the main CVS branch, not the
mailing list) first.  Package developers should be keeping a
relatively up to date copy of it around if they're doing things that
are likely to break.

>In Hmisc and Design I reference several functions that were not exported
>from packages that now use namespaces.  There is an elegant solution with
>the package:::function notation, 

I'd recommend avoiding that as much as you can.  If things aren't
exported from a package, then the package writer is likely to feel
free to change them without warning.  It's much better to convince the
package writer that they missed something in their export list.

>but I have been unable to use this
>solution because I use one code base for all versions of R and S-Plus. 
>This notation generates syntax errors in all but late versions of R.

I think it's reasonable to restrict the availability of updates to
your packages to the currently released R version.  There are reasons
why people might not be up to date (e.g. only doing upgrades at a
specific time of year), but they'll still have access via CRAN to
older versions of your package.

Compatibility with S-PLUS is a lot harder, of course.  

Duncan Murdoch

More information about the R-devel mailing list