[R-pkg-devel] package in 'Enhances' not in a repository

Matthew Wolak matthewwolak at gmail.com
Wed Jul 1 11:38:23 CEST 2015

Hello all,

I maintain the 'nadiv' package on CRAN and am unsure how best to comply
with CRAN policy/not waste CRAN maintainers' time with respect to
structuring my DESCRIPTION file to link with an R package not available in
a public repository. (Note, this is slightly different from a recent
discussion in this forum:
https://stat.ethz.ch/pipermail/r-package-devel/2015q2/000002.html). For
reference, you can browse the 'nadiv' package source or download it from
GitHub (https://github.com/matthewwolak/nadiv).

My issue is that I have a few functions in nadiv that can be used with
model output from the 'asreml' package, which is an R implementation of the
ASReml software (available from VSN International) for which one must
purchase a license to download/use. Thus, asreml is not available in any
form of a repository for which we can point R to manage this package.
However, I have asreml listed under 'Enhances' as well as providing details
where to obtain asreml in the 'Details' sections of the DESCRIPTION file. I
do not have an 'Additional_repositories' field, as I do not think it
appropriate in this case (happy to be told otherwise). As per CRAN policy:

  "Packages on which a CRAN package depends should be available from a
mainstream repository: if any mentioned in ‘Suggests’ or ‘Enhances’ fields
are not from such a repository, where to obtain them at a repository should
be specified in an ‘Additional_repositories’ field of the DESCRIPTION file
(as a comma-separated list of repository URLs) or for other means of
access, described in the ‘Description’ field."

So I think I fall into the last phrase of this chunk. However, this will
always create the following Note when checking the package:
     checking package dependencies ... NOTE
     Package which this enhances but not available for checking: ‘asreml’

and the CRAN folks have e-mailed me about this. My question, then, is there
any way I can avoid the Note so that (A) it is easier to submit updates and
(B) I don't periodically waste the CRAN maintainers' time when they have to
e-mail me regarding this point?

I should say that most of the functionality and purpose of the nadiv
package is not to facilitate the use of the asreml R package, that is just
a minor extension I have added for convenience. I have considered just
creating a standalone package to move only the functions dealing with
asreml - however, I would still have this same problem. So either way, it
would be nice to know of a good resolution. Thanks for any help!!


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