[Rd] Depending on many packages: another best practice question

Prof Brian Ripley ripley at stats.ox.ac.uk
Sat Feb 24 19:38:51 CET 2007

On Fri, 23 Feb 2007, hadley wickham wrote:

> Dear all,
> ggplot currently requires 13 packages (grid, reshape, RColorBrewer,
> proto, splines, MASS, Hmisc, boot, butler, hexbin, mapproj, quantreg,
> sm).  Some of these are absolutely necessary (eg. proto), but most are
> used for one or two specific tasks (eg. boot is only used to get
> plogis, used for logit scales).

Hmm, there is no plogis in boot, but there is in stats.

> Do you think I should make them all "depends" packages, or "suggests"
> packages, and then manually test for package presence before using a
> certain function?  What is easier for users?

The second, especially as from 2.5.0 the 'Depends' and 'Imports' are 
installed by default.

What you have not mentioned is that those packages also have dependencies.

Using 'Depends' on a non-CRAN package (e.g. hexbin) is definitely awkward 
for the user/sysadmin and I would try to avoid it.

I've been here with ggplot for my GGobi class, and a smaller set of
would have been helpful.  Do you really need reshape, for example?

Brian D. Ripley,                  ripley at stats.ox.ac.uk
Professor of Applied Statistics,  http://www.stats.ox.ac.uk/~ripley/
University of Oxford,             Tel:  +44 1865 272861 (self)
1 South Parks Road,                     +44 1865 272866 (PA)
Oxford OX1 3TG, UK                Fax:  +44 1865 272595

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