[R-pkg-devel] Very large packages in Additional_repositories

Hugh Parsonage hugh.parsonage at gmail.com
Mon Mar 19 13:11:00 CET 2018

Dear list,

I'm considering submitting a package to CRAN. The package would be a
'foyer' or API to a much larger package (>1GB tarball) containing
geographical data that the 'foyer' package would use to perform tasks
like geocoding. The foyer package would be usable, though quite
limited, as a standalone package, and I can technically pass an R CMD
check by placing the 1 GB package in Suggests and using an
Additional_repository, but it takes a long time to retrieve and
install from the Additional_repository. While I believe the downside
of long install times would be acceptable for end-users (who would
only need to install the package once a year), for CRAN it could
occupy a large part of the check farm and have to occur much more

The package once installed makes good use of lazy loading; in
particular, it would be basically unusable if the CRAN package had to
connect and download the necessary pieces from the large package each
time it was required. I thought about breaking up the package into
lots of little packages; however, even though the package is not
strictly atomic, its indivisible elements would still be too large for

My questions are:
  would this 'foyer' package be acceptable to CRAN? and, if so,
  what can I do so that the foyer package doesn't eat up CRAN's
computing resources (either on submission or once accepted) when
checking Suggests:



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