[Rd] Package development process?

Spencer Graves spencer.graves at structuremonitoring.com
Wed Jun 16 16:41:27 CEST 2010

Hi, Hadley:

       What about the encouragement to add unit tests, if only disguised 
as examples?

       I've found the unit tests to be a powerful tool to help improve 
and maintain the quality of packages to which I contribute.  To this 
end, Sundar and I added a column "Autochecks" to the table of "Selected 
Repositories" in the Wikipedia article on "Software repository" 
(http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Software_repository), and we describe it 
briefly in the text introducing that table.  I may expand that 
discussion based on the reply from you and others, then try to contact 
leaders for the different languages / repositories, asking them to 
improve this discussion -- or send me comments to incorporate.

       Best Wishes,

On 6/16/2010 7:19 AM, Hadley Wickham wrote:
> Hi Spencer,
> I think it is the emphasis on documentation that makes the R
> development process unique.  Many other languages have equivalents to
> CRAN and R-forge - few others require the attention to documentation
> that R does.
> Hadley
> On Tue, Jun 15, 2010 at 8:45 PM, Spencer Graves
> <spencer.graves at structuremonitoring.com>  wrote:
>> Hello, All:
>>       What thoughts might you have on "The R Software Package Development
>> Process"?
>>       I'm looking for ideas, materials, references, and / or collaborators
>> for an article on this topic to be submitted to the Communications of the
>> ACM.  My limited experience with other languages such as Matlab and Python
>> suggests that R may be fairly unique with CRAN and this accompanying package
>> development process -- and users of other languages might benefit from
>> emulating R in this regard.  We have an immediate deadline of Sept. 15, when
>> Sundar and I are scheduled to speak on this topic for the San Francisco Bay
>> Chapter of the Association for Computing Machinery.
>>       So far my literature search for comparable capabilities for other
>> languages have produced essentially nothing comparable.(a)  Sundar and I
>> added a section on "Selected Repositories" to the Wikipedia "Software
>> repository" entry (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Software_repository).
>>       Thanks,
>>       Spencer Graves
>> ##################
>> (a) I have material discussed by Merijn de Jonge, Eindhoven University of
>> Technology on "Package-Based Software Development" at the 29th Euromicro
>> Conference (EUROMICRO'03),
>> Belek-Antalya, Turkey, September 01-September 06
>> (http://www.computer.org/portal/web/csdl/doi/10.1109/EURMIC.2003.1231570).
>>   I'm also familiar with material by Friedrich Leisch, Sundar and I on
>> "Creating R Packages" available as contributed documentation from CRAN.
Spencer Graves, PE, PhD
President and Chief Operating Officer
Structure Inspection and Monitoring, Inc.
751 Emerson Ct.
San José, CA 95126
ph:  408-655-4567

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