[R-pkg-devel] Best practices for vignettes

Lenth, Russell V russell-lenth at uiowa.edu
Sun Jul 26 20:42:46 CEST 2015

Yesterday, I submitted a package to CRAN that I had previously built using `R CMD build' (no extra arguments), and checked with 'R-devel CMD check --as-cran' (R-devel is my installation of the latest development version). No errors were reported in either of these steps. 

However, the submitted package contained a LaTeX error in one of the vignettes -- it had \paragaph{} instead of \paragraph{}. And the submission bounced back from CRAN because their checking DID catch the error.

So I have two questions...

1. How could a LaTeX error in a vignette possibly get past either R CMD build or R CMD check --as-cran without errors being reported? (I'll mention that subsequently I manually ran Sweave and pdflatex on the vignette and it did report the error -- confirming that I don't have a \paragaph macro defined somewhere on my own system.) FWIW, this IS system-dependent, as I do get error messages if I try to build the package on a Mac Pro. But I don't use that as my primary machine, as it is old, slow, and a laptop. I have a Windows 7 Pro system, service pack 1,
MiKTeX-pdfTeX 2.9.5496 (1.40.15) (MiKTeX 2.9 64-bit). Perhaps there's something different about error flags returned by MiKTeX and how they interact with R.

2. I have struggled previously with vignettes, as they sometimes have not been re-built when I wanted them to be. So I have finally settled on just putting the source file and nothing else in the vignettes directory. But that's what messed me up, because I made a minor change and incorrectly trusted the build process with detecting any errors. Clearly, I don't fully understand how vignettes are handled. What's the best way to manage vignettes?



Russell V. Lenth  -  Professor Emeritus
Department of Statistics and Actuarial Science   
The University of Iowa  -  Iowa City, IA 52242  USA   
Voice (319)335-0712 (Dept. office)  -  FAX (319)335-3017

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