[R-pkg-devel] Saving provenance data to the file system

Uwe Ligges ligges at statistik.tu-dortmund.de
Mon Aug 28 17:50:52 CEST 2017

Can't you do it as, e.g. write.table() writes files: Simply require a 
filename from the user, then you are on the save side. And in your 
examples / tests, write to some tempfile().

Uwe Ligges

On 25.08.2017 21:11, Jenny Bryan wrote:
> I can't comment on the specific intersection of your plans and CRAN's rules, but
> note that you might want to check out the rappdirs package (already on CRAN
> and imported by some other packages) as a possible helper for whatever you
> decide to do.
> https://cran.r-project.org/package=rappdirs
> -- Jenny
>> On Aug 25, 2017, at 8:42 AM, Barbara Lerner <blerner at mtholyoke.edu> wrote:
>> We are working on a package that collects provenance as an R script
>> executes, saving the provenance to the file system.  In reading the
>> rules for submitting packages to CRAN, there is this rule:
>>> Packages should not write in the users’ home filespace, nor anywhere
>>> else on the file system apart from the R session’s temporary directory
>>> (or during installation in the location pointed to by |TMPDIR|: and
>>> such usage should be cleaned up). Installing into the system’s R
>>> installation (e.g., scripts to its bin directory) is not allowed.
>>> Limited exceptions may be allowed in interactive sessions if the
>>> package obtains confirmation from the user.
>> To use our package, the R programmer calls a function that has an
>> optional parameter to specify where the provenance is saved.  I have a
>> few questions about whether this approach will pass CRAN or some other
>> alternatives we have considered.
>> 1. Currently, we save to the user's file space and provide an optional
>> parameter to save the provenance somewhere else.  Is this acceptable?
>> 2. A second alternative would be to have the default location be the R
>> session's temporary directory.  To save in the user's file space, the
>> user would need to provide a value for the optional parameter mention in
>> #1.
>> 3. A third alternative would be to do the same as #2 and also ask the
>> user to confirm that they want to save the provenance before actually
>> writing to the filesystem.
>> 4. A fourth alternative would be to save the provenance in a database,
>> which might or might not be on the user's computer.
>> I would appreciate advice on which of these options is likely to pass
>> CRAN's rules.  Our package will be of little use if the provenance is
>> not saved somewhere.
>> Thanks for any advice.
>> Barbara
>> -- 
>> <http://www.getpostbox.com>Barbara Lerner
>> Associate Professor
>> Computer Science Department
>> Mount Holyoke College
>> <http://www.getpostbox.com><http://www.getpostbox.com>
>> 	[[alternative HTML version deleted]]
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