[R-pkg-devel] What to do when you can't reproduce CRAN R CMD check unit test failures?

Richard Cotton richierocks at gmail.com
Wed May 11 08:40:15 CEST 2016

Yesterday I uploaded a new version of the pathological package to
CRAN.  It was initially accepted but today I got a message saying that
some of the tests for the decompose_path function are failing under

I've tested the package on a local Windows 10 machine with R-3.3.0 and
R-devel, and in Win 7 and Win 8 compatibility modes, and on Windows
Server 2012 via AppVeyor.  In all cases, all the tests pass.

I tried the CRAN win builder service today, and again, all tests pass.

The failure portion of the output I got from Uwe is as follows:

* checking tests ... ERROR
Running the tests in 'tests/testthat.R' failed.
Last 13 lines of output:
  1. Failure: decompose_path handles paths with no directory and a
single extension in the filename. (@test_decompose_path.R#42)
  2. Failure: decompose_path handles paths with no directory and a
double extension in the filename. (@test_decompose_path.R#72)
  3. Failure: decompose_path handles paths with no directory and no
extension in the filename. (@test_decompose_path.R#103)
  4. Failure: decompose_path handles filenames containing a '.' and an
extension. (@test_decompose_path.R#133)
  5. Failure: decompose_path handles the current directory as '.'.
  6. Failure: decompose_path handles the parent directory as '..'.
  7. Failure: decompose_path handles files inside '.'.
  8. Failure: decompose_path works with a character vector input.
  9. Failure: decompose_path works with a factor input.
  1. ...

Since this isn't hugely informative as to the problem, I'd like
general advice on how I can diagnose a failing test when I can't
reproduce it.

It would also be useful if anyone can run R CMD check and see if they
find test failures.

The CRAN release is here (the problematic version is 0.0-8):

and the github version is currently in the same state, available here:


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