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

arilamstein at gmail.com arilamstein at gmail.com
Thu Mar 12 22:29:04 CET 2015

Hi Dirk,

I'm interested in pursing this but I haven't been able to figure how to to
make it work.  Here's what I have so far:


I (obviously) have a copy of the choroplethrZip github repo locally. I

git checkout gh-pages
git push

I gather that this is what I needed to to do make the repo web-accessible.
Although I found this step a bit confusing because it looks like github has
a pages feature for both accounts and projects.

And now the instructions say to type something like:

> insertPackage("~/Desktop/choroplethrZip_1.0.0.tar.gz")
Error in insertPackage("~/Desktop/choroplethrZip_1.0.0.tar.gz") :
  Directory ~/git/drat not found

The file I provided is what was created by calling devtools::build() on my
R package that I want to distribute.

Can you explain this error message to me and tell me what I'm doing wrong?
I've read several of the documents on drat but am unclear on whether I need
modify my existing repository in any way in order to make it work with drat.



On Thu, Mar 12, 2015 at 9:58 AM, Dirk Eddelbuettel <edd at debian.org> wrote:

> 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
> automagically.
> Dirk
> --
> http://dirk.eddelbuettel.com | @eddelbuettel | edd at debian.org

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