[R-pkg-devel] Submitting breaking changes to CRAN

Duncan Murdoch murdoch@dunc@n @end|ng |rom gm@||@com
Fri Mar 12 15:46:20 CET 2021

One part of your first message that I don't understand is the reluctance 
of downstream package writers to update to the spatstat.xxxx versions.

You said "Many have reported back that they have a new version ready 
that will work with spatstat (>=2.0) and are waiting to submit until it 
is on CRAN."

Why wouldn't those new versions work already?  I'm guessing there is 
some incompatibility between the new spatstat.xxxx packages and the old 
spatstat 1.65 from before the split.  Can you describe what it is? 
Maybe there's a way to make the new packages compatible with the old 
one, so there would be no excuse for the downstream packages not to 
update right away.

Duncan Murdoch

On 11/03/2021 7:39 p.m., Ege Rubak wrote:
> Dear Duncan,
> Thanks for taking the time to read my message and for the constructive
> idea. You are right that it is a bit late for us to do this now. Given
> that spatstat (<=1.65) exports >2,500 objects which are now spread
> across sub-packages we would obviously have to make a script to help us
> reexport the functions and make documentation containing links to the
> real man page. This might be doable, but one big downside is that we
> then don't use this occasion to move package dependencies from spatstat
> to the relevant spatstat.xxxx. If the packages don't fail I'm afraid
> that a lot of maintainers wont change anything, and their package will
> depend on the entire ensemble of spatstat packages rather than just the
> relevant sub-package(s). For our usual end users this would also mean
> that when they open the help file of given function after attaching
> spatstat it will just contain a huge list of links to the real help
> file they are looking for which is a nuisance.
> Unless we get other really good suggestions we will wait a bit more on
> a reply from CRAN (we sent a gentle reminder a week ago) and hopefully
> learn what we should do differently to get the last bit in place.
> Best regards,
> Ege
> On Thu, 2021-03-11 at 14:56 -0500, Duncan Murdoch wrote:
>> It may be too late to do this now, but you could use the approach
>> that
>> devtools used when it was broken up:  The main package imports
>> functions
>> from the new spatstat.xxxx packages and exports them.  This way it
>> could
>> be done with no breaking changes.  Reverse dependencies could change
>> to
>> depend on spatstat.xxxx at their leisure.
>> Duncan Murdoch
>> On 11/03/2021 10:18 a.m., Ege Rubak wrote:
>>> Dear all,
>>> I'm seeking advice on how to submit a new package version with
>>> breaking
>>> changes to CRAN. I will try to make this short:
>>> 1. spatstat (<= 1.65) had grow to be very large with extensive
>>> examples, tests, and documentation.
>>> 2. CRAN asked us to reduce package size and check time.
>>> 3. We reorganized the package into a new umbrella package spatstat
>>> 2.0
>>> which Depends/Imports several subpackages named spatstat.xxxx.
>>> 4. All subpackages are now on CRAN.
>>> 5. We submitted spatstat 2.0-1 which breaks 79 reverse dependencies
>>> because they e.g. call functions that have been moved from spatstat
>>> to
>>> spatstat.xxxx.
>>> 6. All maintainers have been warned over a period of months and
>>> offered
>>> detailed help to adjust their package. Many have reported back that
>>> they have a new version ready that will work with spatstat (>=2.0)
>>> and
>>> are waiting to submit until it is on CRAN.
>>> 7. We received notification on 23 Feburary that "package
>>> spatstat_2.0-
>>> 1.tar.gz has been auto-processed. The auto-check found problems
>>> when
>>> checking the first order strong reverse dependencies.
>>> Please reply-all and explain: Is this expected or do you need to
>>> fix
>>> anything in your package? If expected, have all maintainers of
>>> affected
>>> packages been informed well in advance? Are there false positives
>>> in
>>> our results?"
>>> 8. We replied to all on the same day, 23 Feb, that this was
>>> expected
>>> and maintainers had been informed. Since then we have no news.
>>> Any advice on how to cross the finish line and get spatstat 2.0-1
>>> on
>>> CRAN without putting too big a burden on the CRAN volunteers?
>>> I can only come up with a long shot:
>>> Ask package maintainers to submit their spatstat 2.0 compatible
>>> package
>>> to CRAN with an additional line in DESCRIPTION:
>>> Additional_repositories: https://spatstat.r-universe.dev
>>> Since spatstat 2.0-1 is available from this repository they may
>>> pass
>>> the incoming checks on CRAN, but my hopes are not too high.
>>> If this was successful the reverse dependencies would be compatible
>>> with spatstat 2.0 and on CRAN and so spatstat 2.0 would break
>>> nothing
>>> and we could resubmit.
>>> Best regards,
>>> Ege

More information about the R-package-devel mailing list