[Rd] [RFC] A case for freezing CRAN

Rainer M Krug Rainer at krugs.de
Fri Mar 21 09:40:10 CET 2014

This is a long and (mainly) interesting discussion, which is fanning out
in many different directions, and I think many are not that relevant to
the OP's suggestion. 

I see the advantages of having such a dynamic CRAN, but also of having a
more stable CRAN. I prefer CRAN as it is now, but ion many cases a more
stable CRAN might b an advantage. So having releases of CRAN might make
sense. But then there is the archiving issue of CRAN.

The suggestion was made to move the responsibility away from CRAN and
the R infrastructure to the user / researcher to guarantee that the
results can be re-run years later. It would be nice to have this build
in CRAN, but let's stick at the scenario that the user should care for

Leaving the issue of compilation out, a package which is creating a
custom installation of the R version which includes the source of the R
version used and the sources of the packages in a on Linux compilable
format, given that the relevant dependencies are installed, would be a
huge step forward. 

I know - compilation on Windows (and sometimes Mac) is a serious
problem), but to archive *all* binaries and to re-compile all older
versions of R and all packages would be an impossible task.

Apart from that - doing your analysis in a Virtual Machine and then
simply archiving this Virtual Machine, would also be an option, but only
for the more tech savy users.

In a nutshell: I think a package would be able to provide the solution
for a local archiving to make it possible to re-run the simulation with
the same tools at a later stage - although guarantees would not be


Rainer M. Krug
email: Rainer<at>krugs<dot>de
PGP: 0x0F52F982

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