[R-pkg-devel] Differences between documentation and CRAN requirements: an update needed?

Joris Meys Jori@@Mey@ @ending from ugent@be
Mon Jun 11 14:22:17 CEST 2018

 Dear all,

Two recent tweets pointed out that apparently there were some changes to
the CRAN requirements for packages. Yet, not all requirements are
consistent with documentation or previous communication. These issues also
come up more often lately, partly because people start to be more vocal
about them on different social media. Let me illustrate:

One is about DOI requirements and the apparent rule against using
\dontrun{}. I do get the strict requirements for DOI citations, but I was
baffled to find out that using \dontrun{} is now frowned upon.


I've tried to find the information that says \dontrun{} shouldn't be used
but couldn't find it. In contrary, it is still documented in writing R
extensions as a valid option:


The second one is more worrisome. It deals with the use of
R_GetConnection() and R CMD check apparently now complains with a NOTE that
this function and the function R_WriteConnection() are not part of the
public API.


The note in R CMD check Yet, in the NEWS file for R 3.3.0 the following is

The connections interface now includes a function R_GetConnection() which
allows packages implementing connections to convert R connection objects to
Rconnection handles.  Code which previously used the low-level R-internal
getConnection() entry point should switch.

So at least that function has been part of the API at one point. I've tried
to find the point where this function was removed from the public API, but
again I turned up a blank.

Hence my question:

Without meaning any disrespect towards the huge effort done daily by the
CRAN maintainers, I would like to ask if it is possible to communicate an
update on the requirements or adjust the documentation that is refered to
accordingly. Specifically the note of R CMD check points to the part about
portable code in writing R extensions, I couldn't locate anything remotely
helpful there.

I do not want to contest the decisions made, but it's hard to train/help
people correctly if we can't rely on the official documentation any longer
to know what is and what is not accepted. And for the moment that seems to
be the case.


Joris Meys
Statistical consultant

Department of Data Analysis and Mathematical Modelling
Ghent University
Coupure Links 653, B-9000 Gent (Belgium)

tel: +32 (0)9 264 61 79
Biowiskundedagen 2017-2018

Disclaimer : http://helpdesk.ugent.be/e-maildisclaimer.php

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