[Rd] R vs. C now rather: how to ease package checking

Spencer Graves spencer.graves at structuremonitoring.com
Tue Jan 18 18:13:52 CET 2011

On 1/18/2011 8:44 AM, Dominick Samperi wrote:
> On Tue, Jan 18, 2011 at 4:48 AM, Claudia Beleites<cbeleites at units.it>wrote:
>> On 01/18/2011 01:13 AM, Dominick Samperi wrote:
>>> On Mon, Jan 17, 2011 at 7:00 PM, Spencer Graves<
>>> spencer.graves at structuremonitoring.com>   wrote:
>>>   Hi, Dominick, et al.:
>>>>       Demanding complete unit test suites with all software contributed to
>>>> CRAN would likely cut contributions by a factor of 10 or 100.  For me,
>>>> the R
>>>> package creation process is close to perfection in providing a standard
>>>> process for documentation with places for examples and test suites of
>>>> various kinds.  I mention "perfection", because it makes developing
>>>> "trustworthy software" (Chamber's "prime directive") relatively easy
>>>> without
>>>> forcing people to do things they don't feel comfortable doing.
>>> I don't think I made myself clear, sorry. I was not suggesting that
>>> package
>>> developers include a complete unit
>>> test suite. I was suggesting that unit testing should be done outside of
>>> the
>>> CRAN release process. Packages
>>> should be submitted for "release" to CRAN after they have been tested (the
>>> responsibility of the package
>>> developers). I understand that the main problem here is that package
>>> developers do not have access to
>>> all supported platforms, so the current process is not likely to change.
>> Regarding access to all platforms: But there's r-forge where building and
>> checks are done nightly for Linux, Win, and Mac (though for some months now
>> the check protocols are not available for 32 bit Linux and Windows - but I
>> hope they'll be back soon).
>> I found it extremely easy to get an account&  project space and building.
>> Many thanks to r-forge!
> Good point Claudia,
> There are packages released to CRAN that
> do not build on some platforms because the unit tests fail. It seems to me
> that this kind of issue could be ironed out with the help of r-forge before
> release, in which case there is no need to run the unit tests for released
> packages.
> Dominick

CRAN also runs "R CMD check" on its contributed packages.  I've found 
problems (and fixed) that I couldn't replicate by reviewing the repeated 
checks on both R-Forge and CRAN.


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Spencer Graves, PE, PhD
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Structure Inspection and Monitoring, Inc.
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