[R-pkgs] CRANberries -- An RSS feed about New and Updated CRAN packages

Dirk Eddelbuettel edd at debian.org
Mon Jul 9 18:41:55 CEST 2007

Announcing CRANberries -- An RSS feed about New and Updated CRAN packages

A new RSS feed [1] is now available that summarizes uploads to CRAN.  This
makes it possibly to quickly obtain concise information about which (of the
now over one thousand !!) packages were added or updated at CRAN and its

To this end, two basic variants are provided:
 - a feed for new packages where we display the DESCRIPTION file
 - a feed for updated packages where we display the output of diffstat(1) 
   between the old and new source tar archives.
As the URLs for these are in a hierarchy, one can subscribe to both or
individual feeds.  The URLs are as follows:


   Just CRAN (so far the same as All)

   New CRAN packages

   Updated CRAN packages

but the easiest way may just be to subscribe to Elijah's wonderful 'Planet R'
feed aggregator which already sources the 'Everything' variant above.  Beside
giving you lots of other R information, it also points to a more reliable
back-end than my small server at home.

Lastly, I could add other repositories. However, to provide updates in the
current format, my code relies on some CRAN features not available on all
other repos (i.e an Archive/ section with old tarballs, and the various
Descriptions/$package.DESCRIPTION files).

For the technically inclined, this is implemented using a few lines of R
executed by littler [2] storing data via R/DBI in a SQLite db and writing
simple text files that are then aggregated by the Blosxom [3] blog engine.

Comments, questions, criticism most welcome.

Best regards,  Dirk

[1] See the Wikipedia entry at http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rss if that term
    is unfamiliar. RSS feeds can be read in web browsers, numerous stand-alone
    applications, or web-services such as Google Reader.

[2] See http://dirk.eddelbuettel.com/code/littler.html

[3] See http://blosxom.sourceforge.net/ and http://blosxom.sourceforge.net/
    but not that Blosxom development seems to have ceased. There are many 
    alternatives such as PyBlosxom and Nanoblogger.

Hell, there are no rules here - we're trying to accomplish something. 
                                                  -- Thomas A. Edison

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