[Rd] Proposal: 'global' package refactoring

Jan de Leeuw deleeuw at stat.ucla.edu
Mon Nov 24 23:36:08 MET 2003

This is a good idea, and it would be great to have these
refactored meta packages. But it actually implies having
a group similar to R core that does code review of
existing packages. For example, what happens if
a function seems to work but is programmed horribly
inefficiently ? What happens if something exists on both
the R and C levels ? What happens with packages that
rely on private versions of BLAS ? Suppose two packages
provide the same functionality, how does one choose ?
And can this be done without coding conventions ? Who is
in charge ?

On Nov 24, 2003, at 14:12, Warnes, Gregory R wrote:

> Looking over the contents of various packages, including my own, it is  
> clear
> that lots of things end up 'hidden away' in packages where they don't
> belong.  My gregmisc package is a particularly egregious example,  
> containing
> something from almost every functional category.
> I propose that from time to time the R community go through the  
> complete set
> of packages and 'refactor' the functions and data sets into packages  
> that
> have clearly defined goals.   This should make it easier to ensure  
> that new
> functions get placed into a location where users can easily find them,
> reduce the amount of re-implementation/duplication existing  
> functionality,
> and assist in ensuring interoperability.
> It would be worthwhile, for instance, to pull all of the functions  
> related
> to contrasts for generalized linear models into a common location,  
> instead
> of having them spread between base, Hmisc, MASS, gregmisc, etc.    
> Similarly,
> it would be helpful to pull together all of the genetics-computations  
> into a
> single location.
> I recognize that not all package maintainers would be willing to  
> participate
> and that not all functions could be easily categorized, but I believe  
> that
> this effort would yield significant benefit and is compatible with the  
> goal
> of R-core to streamline the base packages.
> To put my money where my mouth is, I'll volunteer to organize a group  
> effort
> to do such a refactoring in conjunction with the userR! 2004 or the  
> next
> DSC, whichever folks agree is better for this purpose.
> Gregory R. Warnes, Ph.D.
> Senior Coordinator
> Groton Non-Clinical Statistics
> Pfizer Global Research and Development
>  <<Warnes, Gregory R.vcf>>
> LEGAL NOTICE\ Unless expressly stated otherwise, this  
> messag...{{dropped}}
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Jan de Leeuw; Professor and Chair, UCLA Department of Statistics;
Editor: Journal of Multivariate Analysis, Journal of Statistical  
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