[Rd] suggestion for R >= 3.0: computer-readable CHANGELOG

Philippe Grosjean phgrosjean at sciviews.org
Fri Apr 17 15:16:04 CEST 2009

Duncan Murdoch wrote:
> On 4/17/2009 7:48 AM, ronggui wrote:
>> 2009/4/17 Duncan Murdoch <murdoch at stats.uwo.ca>:
> [...]
> It might be helpful, but often new arguments or changed behaviour happen 
> later, so you'd really need a full change history for the function: 
> that's what's in the Subversion log, or to some extent, in the NEWS file.

Only a few packages on CRAN use subversion and/or make it accessible to 
others. OK, this is improving with R-Forge. The proposed CHANGELOG 
should not duplicate subversion info. It would only be a collection of 
major milestones for each function, i.e., a new entry is written in 
CHANGELOG when changes are done and included in a new version of R or of 
a package, but individual steps followed to get there from one version 
to the other would NOT be recorded (use a subversion for that).

> But since we've made an explicit decision not to provide active support 
> for older versions, it seems rather pointless to devote extra resources 
> to this.  Some new function is only available as of 2.8.0?  Why would 
> you care?  You should be using 2.8.1 or 2.9.0 by now.  If you're using 
> 2.7.1 you're on your own.
> Duncan Murdoch

It is not uncommon to use R to analyze some particular data, to save the 
script of the analysis, and to write a paper (or a book) about the 
results with some electronic supplements (including that script). From 
that moment on, the analysis is frozen. However, we may expect that 
other people would be interested to rerun the analysis at a later time, 
or even, to reuse the script on other data.

Thus, the decision for not providing active support for older versions 
should go together with the development of tools that would help people 
to upgrade such an old script when needed. I think the proposed tools 
fit this goal.

Philippe Grosjean

> [...]

More information about the R-devel mailing list