[Rd] Re: [R] A long digression on packages

Dirk Eddelbuettel edd at debian.org
Sun Jun 5 17:03:38 CEST 2005

Jim raises good points, as do the replies. On the topic of '500+ and
growing', let me add my pet peeve: It is mighty impossible to know /what/
changed /when/ in CRANland.

Being Debian maintainer for a fair number of packages, I owe users of those
packages timely updates. But the best I can do is to look at the
timestamp-sorted source directory http://cran.r-project.org/src/contrib/?M=D
That is tedious, as well as error-prone.  Moreover, as an R user, I'd like to
know what is being added and, and what is being changed. There is no way to
know right now.

I would not be hard to write a little monitoring script that looks at the
directory (and keeps tab in a Rdata structure, or SQLite db, or ...) and
spits out either emails, or maybe rss-feed updates, of either or both of 'new
packages' or 'new versions'.  If additionally we would enforce (err let's
start with encourage) a standardised changelog (say $SRC/inst/CHANGES or
$SRC/inst/ChangeLog) then that could get parsed too.  I had meant to play
with some code for this for a while now but it just hasn't happened.
Whining on a list is easier than writing code, unfortunately...



Statistics: The (futile) attempt to offer certainty about uncertainty.
         -- Roger Koenker, 'Dictionary of Received Ideas of Statistics'

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