[Rd] Why R-project source code is not on Github

Yihui Xie xie at yihui.name
Fri Aug 22 06:00:04 CEST 2014

As someone who has merged more than a hundred pull requests on Github,
I cannot agree more. Sometimes I can take patches on my mobile phone
while I'm still in bed if they look reasonable and simple enough.
Sometimes the patches are not worth emails back and forth, such as the
correction of typos. I cannot think of anything else that is more
efficient than being able to discuss the patch right in the lines of

Yihui Xie <xieyihui at gmail.com>
Web: http://yihui.name

On Thu, Aug 21, 2014 at 10:58 AM, Simon Urbanek
<simon.urbanek at r-project.org> wrote:
> On Aug 21, 2014, at 6:40 AM, Marc Schwartz <marc_schwartz at me.com> wrote:
>> On Aug 21, 2014, at 3:11 AM, Gaurav Sehrawat <igauravsehrawat at gmail.com> wrote:
>>> R-Project is missing something important in regards to its development ,
>>> one simply can't ignore Github ,where collaboration is at it's best .
>>> OR If i am wrong is this the correct R-source :
>>> https://github.com/wch/r-source
>>> Is anyone thinking to bring R-project org on Github ? Maybe there might be
>>> some difficulty while porting its version system to Github .
>>> Just a suggestion .
>>> Thanks
>>> Gaurav Sehrawat
>>> http://igauravsehrawat.com
>> The link you have above is to a read-only mirror (perhaps not the only one) of the R source code that is kept in the official Subversion repo:
>>  https://svn.r-project.org/R/
>> There are also some documents that describe R's development cycle and related processes:
>>  http://www.r-project.org/certification.html
>> Your suggestion to move to Github is perhaps based upon a false premise, that the R community at large has the ability to directly post code/patches to the official distribution. We can contribute code and patches, primarily here on R-Devel, to the code base. However, only the members of R Core team (http://www.r-project.org/contributors.html) have write access to the SVN repo above and have to approve any such contributions.
> How is this different from Github? Github just makes it much easier to create and post patches to the project - it has nothing to do with write access - typically on Github the community has no write access, either. Using pull requests is certainly much less fragile than e-mails and patches are based on forked branches, so you can directly build the patched version if you want without manually applying the patch - and you see the whole history so you can pick out things logically. You can comment on individual patches to discuss them and even individual commits - often leading to a quick round trip time of revising it.
> Cheers,
> Simon

More information about the R-devel mailing list