[Rd] Is xtable still being maintained?

Jeffrey Ryan jeffrey.ryan at lemnica.com
Sat Sep 10 17:08:17 CEST 2011

I would be leery of just taking over as maintainer if a package still
works and passes all checks on CRAN.

My personal take is that even commercial packages ignore feature
requests, and to expect such from an OSS one is expecting too much.
Of course patches are welcomed, but they can't honestly be expected to
be committed.  Even if they are they may be a low priority for the
maintainer/author - be it for style, design, or
implementation/maintenance purposes.

My suggestion would be to continue to ask, but if that doesn't work
simply build an extension that others might be able to use with xtable
in this case (xtableExtras??). In the absolute last case I would fork
it if you feel the need and the intense desire to maintain a whole new
version.  The caveat of adding another package that duplicates, but
only adds one feature (however amazing you think), isn't likely to be
helpful to the entire R universe - in fact it is likely harmful.

my 2c

On Sat, Sep 10, 2011 at 9:40 AM, Spencer Graves
<spencer.graves at prodsyse.com> wrote:
> On 9/10/2011 6:06 AM, Uwe Ligges wrote:
>> On 10.09.2011 13:26, Alastair wrote:
>>> Hi,
>>> I wonder if anyone knows if the xtable package is still actively being
>>> maintained? The last update to the CRAN was about 2 years ago. Earlier in
>>> the year I found I wanted to use the short caption option of LaTeX tables
>>> to
>>> display an abridged title in my table of contents. It was a relatively
>>> simple change to get xtable to support this. I bundled up my changes and
>>> sent the maintainer David B. Dahl an email and I got absolutely no
>>> response?
>> Try to "ping" - at least I do so in this case. No response would be
>> unfortunate, of course.
>      David B. Dahl still has a web site as an Associate Professor at Texas
> A&M U.
>>> What's the etiquette for this kind of situation? I think he's done a
>>> sterling job maintaining a really useful package; I wanted to help and
>>> contribute to the community but if he's not doing it anymore how can
>>> anyone
>>> get their improvements / bug fixes into circulation?
>> xtable's DESCRIPTION file says
>> License:            GPL (>= 2)
>> so go ahead in case you do not get a response.
>> Best,
>> Uwe Ligges
>     xtable has a long list of reverse depends, imports, suggests and
> enhances, so many people clearly think it's useful.
>      My preference is to encourage the maintainer(s) to migrate the project
> to R-Forge where others can help maintain it and add enhancements (that
> shouldn't break current applications) that people feel are generally useful.
>  (Not everyone responds positively to this kind of suggestion, but some do.)
>      R-Forge also lists tabulaR, which "is a comprehensive package for
> presenting quality tabular output within the R Environment. Differing from
> xtable and Hmisc, it manipulates, formats and presents tabular data to any R
> device stream, which can then be used by any structured format."  So far,
> however, I was unable to find evidence that the the tabulaR team has done
> anything for with R-Forge beyond successfully getting a shell created for
> the project.
>      Good luck!
>      Spencer
>>> Cheers,
>>> Alastair
>>> --
>>> View this message in context:
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> --
> Spencer Graves, PE, PhD
> President and Chief Technology Officer
> Structure Inspection and Monitoring, Inc.
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Jeffrey Ryan
jeffrey.ryan at lemnica.com


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