[Rd] R package BibTex entries: looking for a more general solution

Michael Friendly friendly at yorku.ca
Wed Nov 3 19:15:26 CET 2010

On 11/3/2010 10:42 AM, John Fox wrote:
> Hi Michael,
> FWIW, I've added a CITATION file to the car package on R-Forge.
When I composed a CITATION file for the heplots package, I had to root 
around in R/library to find something to
use as a template.  The main reason for doing this was to have 
citation("heplots") also provide a reference to
the theory paper on which this was based, and which should also be cited 
by users of the package.

  "Writing R Extensions", 1.10 gives a simple example of a CITATION 
file, but even this is somewhat daunting for a
package author, and thus is generally ignored.

This would all be easier, and could evolve over time if there was a 
function, e.g., prompt.citation(package)
in utils that would write a basic CITATION file from a package 
DESCRIPTION, that a package author could
easily edit and then include in the package.

I can imagine it working something like:

 > prompt.citation("fubar")
A CITATION file for the fubar package was automatically generated from 
the package DESCRIPTION
file.  Please edit this file and move it to the appropriate directory, 
inst/ in the package tree.
Warning: no Date: field provided in the package DESCRIPTION
Warning: Authors: field does not appear to be a list of names joined 
with 'and'

Providing something like this would obviate my suggestions to impose 
restrictions on DESCRIPTION
files, and seems more in line with the way R packages and documentation 
have developed.


Michael Friendly     Email: friendly AT yorku DOT ca
Professor, Psychology Dept.
York University      Voice: 416 736-5115 x66249 Fax: 416 736-5814
4700 Keele Street    Web:   http://www.datavis.ca
Toronto, ONT  M3J 1P3 CANADA

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