RFC: no automatic updates of packages with major version change

Berwin Turlach berwin@jacksonia.maths.uwa.edu.au
Tue, 29 Oct 2002 09:22:23 +0800

>>>>> "BDR" ==   <ripley@stats.ox.ac.uk> writes:

    BDR> Now, we could throw the onus on the maintainers to add a

    BDR> BackwardsCompatible:FALSE

    BDR> flag to the DESCRIPTION file, if people really think that
    BDR> would be easier.
I wouldn't not find this easier, perhaps even not feasible. 

One reason is that, e.g., the "tseries" package depends on the
"quadprog" package (S original by me, ported to R by Andreas
Weingessel).  When I finally get around to update that package and
release a new version, I might be able to guarantee that the functions
that I meant to be the API are backwards compatible but short of
analysing the "tseries" code, I could not guarantee that the new
version will not break "tseries".  E.g., it could be that "tseries"
calls the FORTRAN code of "quadprog" directly and doesn't use
"quadprog"s R interface to the FORTRAN code.

Also, every larger package has functions it it that build the API, but
also functions that are helpful for the "main" functions and are not
for direct use by the user.  For example "merge.formula" in the
package "lasso2".  The manual says that is is not intended to be
called directly by the user.  But how should the maintainer now if
everybody follows this request?  Thus, if this function were to change
during a revision in a major way but not the functions that are meant
to build the API, would this mean that the new version is backward

Best wishes,


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Berwin A Turlach                      Tel.: +61 (8) 9380 3338 (secr)   
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