[R-pkg-devel] Changing a package's name

Fox, John jfox at mcmaster.ca
Mon Jun 12 01:46:56 CEST 2017

Dear David,

No one at CRAN has responded yet, so I'll take a stab at it.

First, you're right about the resonance of "huxtable" for North Americans, and if the package were mine, I'd be slightly embarrassed about the name.

CRAN generally will not allow you to rename a package, for several obvious reasons: For example, packages that depend on yours would break (but there don't appear to be any yet), users might be confused, and there would be a discontinuity in archived versions of the package. See <https://stat.ethz.ch/pipermail/r-devel/2013-August/067264.html> for a comment by one of the CRAN maintainers about renaming packages.

You could, however, ask the CRAN maintainers for a dispensation, explaining the reason for the desired change.


John Fox, Professor
McMaster University
Hamilton, Ontario
Canada L8S 4M4
web: socserv.mcmaster.ca/jfox

From: R-package-devel [r-package-devel-bounces at r-project.org] on behalf of David Hugh-Jones [davidhughjones at gmail.com]
Sent: June 11, 2017 9:51 AM
To: R package devel
Subject: [R-pkg-devel] Changing a package's name

Hello all,

A short while ago I released the "huxtable" package for writing HTML and
LaTeX tables:

The name seemed cute to me, but I later found out that to Americans it has
special associations. The Huxtables were the family in the Cosby show. That
would be fine, except that Bill Cosby is now on trial for one case of rape,
and there are accusations of many other cases.

So, two questions:

* Do you think I should change the name?

Comments welcome from Americans and others on this difficult cultural issue.

* If I do, what's the best and least disruptive way to do it? Bear in mind
that I have a couple of thousand users.

My first thought would be to release an update which gives a warning about
the future change when the package is loaded; then release a package with
the new name and continue development on this branch.


        [[alternative HTML version deleted]]

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