[Rd] R CMD check should check date in description

Robert Gentleman rgentlem at fhcrc.org
Fri Apr 4 22:40:45 CEST 2008

Kurt Hornik wrote:
>>>>>> hadley wickham writes:
>>> I recently thought about this.  I see several issues.
>>> * How can we determine if it is "old"?  Relative to the time when the
>>> package was uploaded to a repository?
>>> * Some developers might actually want a different date for a variety of
>>> reasons ...
>>> * What we currently say in R-exts is
>>> The optional `Date' field gives the release date of the current
>>> version of the package.  It is strongly recommended to use the
>>> yyyy-mm-dd format conforming to the ISO standard.
>>> Many packages do not comply with the latter (but I have some code to
>>> sanitize most of these), and "release date" may be a moving target.
>>> The best that I could think of is to teach R CMD build to *add* a Date
>>> field if there was none.
>> That sounds like a good solution to me.
> Ok.  However, 2.7.0 feature freeze soon ...

   Please no.  If people want one then they should add it manually. It 
is optional, and some of us have explicitly opted out and would like to 
continue to do so.

>> Otherwise, maybe just a message from R CMD check?  i.e. just like
>> failing the codetools checks, it might be perfectly ok, but you should
>> be doing it consciously, not by mistake.
> I am working on that, too (e.g. a simple NOTE in case the date spec
> cannot be canonicalized, etc.).  If file time stamps were realiable, we
> could compare these to the given date.  This is I guess all we can do
> for e.g. CRAN's daily checking (where comparing to the date the check
> is run is not too useful) ...

   But definitely not a warning.


> Best
> -k
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Robert Gentleman, PhD
Program in Computational Biology
Division of Public Health Sciences
Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center
1100 Fairview Ave. N, M2-B876
PO Box 19024
Seattle, Washington 98109-1024
rgentlem at fhcrc.org

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