[Rd] Best way to handle dependency on non-CRAN package / large data package?

Dirk Eddelbuettel edd at debian.org
Thu Mar 12 17:58:28 CET 2015

On 12 March 2015 at 09:40, arilamstein at gmail.com wrote:
| Thanks Dirk. I'm looking at it now. 
| At first glance your documentation brings up a good limitation of simply
| telling users to type "devtools::install_github()". Namely, what happens when
| the census bureau updates their shapefiles, and I subsequently decide to update
| the package? Or if I discover an error in the package and decide to update it?
| The choroplethr package could have a dependency, and it's not clear how to make
| that dependency explicit to the user. 

100% agree. 

In writing drat, and talking to R users about it, I surprisingly often find
many (advanced) R users who seem to not use update.packages() at all.

R itself has your problem solved by providing repositries. And drat makes
creating and filling repositories (the author side) vey easy -- and that we
also aid the user side as installation as well as regular updates fall back
onto standard R functions: install.packages(), update.packages().  And this
does not require any additinal or manual steps on the part of the users (once
drat:::add(...)  has been added to their startup files).

So for this example, you could add a versioned Depends: in the
shapefile-using package and update the drat repository with an updated
shapefile package.  Users of drat and update.packages() would get updates


http://dirk.eddelbuettel.com | @eddelbuettel | edd at debian.org

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