[Rd] dependencies on system packages

Allen S. Rout asr at ufl.edu
Wed Feb 9 20:05:36 CET 2011

Simon Urbanek <simon.urbanek at r-project.org> writes:
> On Feb 4, 2011, at 1:24 PM, Dirk Eddelbuettel wrote:


>> We need to address this: With 2600+ packages and continued growth,
>> manually wading through README is not good enough.  We should do
>> better.  Resources (time, money, servers, ...) would help.  Maybe one
>> day someone with more time can fold this into a proper sub-project of
>> a larger grant application.  It would be worth, and I would try to
>> help, time permitting.

I'm one of the people who made stabs at this in the past.  I had a
fairly complete Gentoo process in place, but then the sickness passed.

More recently, I've been peripherally involved with an effort to
translate CRAN to redhat-land.

When we talked about this most intensely last (waaay back in 2006), I
had a detailed submission for an "Extended depends string", a strictly
formatted field to accompany or supplant the existing system depends.

I also supplied suggested code to translate a string in this format to a
simple depstring, which would neatly plug into the existing depstring
infrastructure already in place.  


So, for an example extended depstring

src <- "libgd (>= 1.9.0) (gentoo gd >= 2.0) (debian >= 1.9.2)"


yields "libgd (>= 1.9.0)"



yields "libgd (>= 1.9.2)"



yields the default. 

I think this would be preferable to a growing taxonomy of 


- Allen S. Rout

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