[Rd] organisation of packages & CRAN
bbolker at gmail.com
Sun Nov 9 22:50:20 CET 2014
On Sun, Nov 9, 2014 at 4:37 PM, Duncan Murdoch <murdoch.duncan at gmail.com>
> Hi Ben. I agree with most of your points and questions, but just wanted
> to nitpick one little point, inline below:
You're right -- I was being sloppy, that's worth clarifying. I think I
to write "R core/the CRAN team" (i.e. referring to "R core" and "the CRAN
as separate entities), but my fingers slipped ...
> On 09/11/2014, 3:26 PM, Ben Bolker wrote:
> > Gábor Csárdi <csardi.gabor <at> gmail.com> writes:
> >> Hi,
> >> I think much of this is simply impossible to do. CRAN packages are
> >> written and maintained by thousands of people, how are you planning to
> >> convince them to reorganize their packages? Or even just rename them?
> >> This obviously won't happen.
> >> Btw. did you see 'CRAN Task Views'? That is one organizations of
> >> packages into topics.
> >> Personally, I don't think organization is the solution here. It is too
> >> costly (i.e. too much work) to maintain, impossible to enforce. I
> >> think, however, that a good search engine would definitely help.
> >> FWIW there is a simple search engine here:
> >> This ranks packages according to the number of reverse dependencies
> >> (among other things), i.e. packages more often used by other packages
> >> will be higher up in the list.
> >> Ranking them according to downloads is also possible, but AFAIK only
> >> one CRAN mirror gives out statistics about downloads, so you don't
> >> really have the complete numbers there.
> >> Disclaimer: I built the search engine above. There are obviously other
> >> alternatives as well, e.g. http://rdocumentation.org, and
> >> http://mran.revolutionanalytics.com/packages/ are the two I know.
> >> Gabor
> > A few more thoughts:
> > * similar topics have been discussed _many_ times over the years on
> > the R mailing lists (sorry, I can't point you to any specific
> > threads). So far the R core/CRAN team have not indicated any interest
> "team" should be plural here. Though there is overlap in membership,
> CRAN is a separate entity from the R Core team.
> Duncan Murdoch
> > in making changes in the directions you suggest, so it's up to
> > the community to implement the things it would like to see. There's
> > nothing stopping you from mirroring CRAN packages in any way you'd
> > like (e.g. see Revolution R's 'MRAN':
> http://mran.revolutionanalytics.com/ ,
> > which among other things allows you to sort packages by task view).
> > In addition to the Task Views pointed out by Gabor (you may enjoy
> > this version: http://www.maths.lancs.ac.uk/~rowlings/R/TaskViews/ ),
> > there have been a variety of individual/community attempts to provide
> > more package information:
> > * CRANberries http://dirk.eddelbuettel.com/cranberries/ gives a feed
> > about package changes
> > * CRANtastic http://crantastic.org/ attempted to set up a community
> > site for package rating/voting (never got a lot of traction though).
> > * download information _is_ available, unofficially, from some
> > mirrors other than the RStudio mirror: see
> > http://www.rpubs.com/bbolker/3750
> > Questions:
> > * how would you propose to enforce package naming? (One of the
> > great things about packaging code R is the relatively *low*
> > barriers to entry ... but that has obvious disadvantages ...)
> > * who's going to enforce and curate the metadata?
> > * who's going to decide on the criteria for CRAN package removal
> > (i.e. how to determine quality, or how to decide on a threshold
> > for removal?) There's some filtering based on packages failing
> > their automated checks and being archived as R advances ...
> >> On Sun, Nov 9, 2014 at 11:24 AM, Steven Sagaert
> >> <steven.sagaert <at> gmail.com> wrote:
> >>> Hi,
> >>> I’ve been using R on and off for a couple of years. I think R is
> >> pretty great but one thing I’d like to see improved is the way
> >> packages are organised. Instead of CRAN being a long list of
> >> packages having a short & usually unintelligible name I ‘d like to
> >> see packages organised in a hierarchical way with that path acting
> >> as a hierarchical namespace just like you have in many other
> >> languages like Java, C#,Scala,… The names of the (sub)packages
> >> should also be clear and unambiguous & packages should be organised
> >> according to their functionality and not just for example be code
> >> for a whole book thrown together and given a cryptic name.
> >> Next to that it would be nice to have extra metadata in the
> >> packages to allow for another more loose flat multi-class
> >> class-action like in tagging blog systems & other metadata to allow
> >> for for automatically generating something like task views.
> >>> Due to the large number of packages it’s hard to see the forest
> >> from the trees so a recommendation system for CRAN based on
> >> popularity (download statistics) , ratings & other data like related
> >> packages from package metadata would be most welcome.
> >> Finally the number of packages in CRAN is exponentially growing but
> >> there is also a large partial overlap in functionality between
> >> packages & so many packages make it hard to find what you are
> >> looking for. So maybe there less is more and there should be a
> >> system of removing hardly used/low quality packages on a regular
> >> basis.
> > ______________________________________________
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