[R-pkg-devel] R CMD check "no-nanny" option?

Martyn Plummer plummerm at iarc.fr
Thu Jun 11 16:41:27 CEST 2015

On Thu, 2015-06-11 at 09:31 -0400, Duncan Murdoch wrote:
> On 11/06/2015 9:15 AM, Kevin Coombes wrote:
> > Hi,
> >
> > When I run "R CMD check --as-cran" on my packages in R 3.2.0, I now get
> > a new series of NOTE's telling me that (1) the Description field in the
> > DESCRIPTION should file should not start with "This package" or with the
> > package name, and (2) the Title field in the DESCRIPTION file should be
> > in title case.
> >
> > Question: Is there any way to turn these notes off and still get the
> > rest of cran-style checking?
> >
> > Grumpy Observation: In reaction to (1), I went to CRAN and randomly
> > clicked on a dozen packages to see how many of them follow this rule.
> > Half of them violate it explicitly, mostly just starting with "This
> > package...".  Most of the rest get around it by starting with a sentence
> > fragment that omits the subject (which is _implicitly_ "this package").
> > Only one of them started with a complete sentence that gave the
> > background of the problem the package was intended to solve.
> >
> > I strongly believe that it's better to write complete sentences than
> > sentence fragments in the Description field. And since the empirical
> > evidence suggest that almost everyone at least implicitly starts their
> > description with "This package", I'm not sure why the NOTE ever got
> > added in the first place....
> Presumably those packages were last updated before the tests were added.

To expand on Duncan's point, my understanding is that a NOTE does not,
by itself, trigger a request for a package update. However, when you do
send an update to CRAN it should be free of NOTEs, or the ones that do
remain should be explained.

R checks can be customized by setting certain environment variables of
the form _R_CHECK_*_.  See R Internals section 8, which lists them
(including a set that will approximate the CRAN tests) and Writing R
Extensions section 1.3 which tells you how to set them.  But of course
--as-cran is exactly what you need if you intend to submit a package to


> I don't know the answer to your question other than the generic "Of 
> course there is, R is open source", but I don't really see the point of 
> deeper research:  you can certainly ignore the NOTEs more easily than 
> suppressing them, so why not do that?
> Duncan Murdoch
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