[Rd] Competing with one's own work

Terry Therneau therneau at mayo.edu
Mon Dec 6 18:35:25 CET 2010

Ben raised an interesting point: "A better question might be how
packages get added to the *recommended*
package list (rather than how code gets added to "base R")."

  As maintainer of survival one of the surprising things is the number
of packages that depend on mine.  This has caused me to change my
opinion over the last few years about how much expansion of the package
should occur.  I used to feel bad that the package doesn't keep up with
everything, now I tend to vote for putting new ideas elsewhere.
Consider competing risks for instance.  The cleanest way to code this is
to extend the Surv(time, status) construct to allow more than a 0/1
status variable.  I thought about this seriously, and realized that such
a change would have ripple effects on some of the other routines -- an
extra if statement here and there.  This is doable, but what about the
effect on the 153 dependent packages!  The stability of survival is now
more important than its feature set.
  My first extention to random effects (a very simplistic one) was
incorporated into the main survival package.  I've pushed the later
developments into thier own package.  It was definitely the right
        Terry T

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