[R-pkg-devel] Including Open-Source C Code in R Package

Zhu, Zijie zz4 at williams.edu
Mon Aug 3 20:54:40 CEST 2015

Hi all,

I would like to submit a package to CRAN. Now my package includes an
open-source C model released by some other institution. This
open-source C model is published under some public license that is not
in the complete list that CRAN considers valid (link to the list:

Last time I tried to submit the package containing this C model to
CRAN, but they rejected because of the license problem. Therefore, I
would like to know if the following is possible, or what is the best

1. Can I include the open-source C model in my package, in a way that
can get around the license issue?

2. Or, if the above is not feasible, I can split the package in
halves. Is it possible that I submit "Part A" to CRAN and put "Part B"
on Github, and when calling `install.packages("Part A")`, "Part B"
will also be fetched and installed from Github? Currently I have the
following piece of code in "Part A" to do this:

.onLoad <- function(libname, pkgname) {
  if ( ! "Part B" %in% .packages(all.available = TRUE)){
    devtools::install_github("myrepo/Part B")

Is this acceptable to CRAN maintainer, or what is the best practice?

Many thanks in advance!!


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