[Rd] organisation of packages & CRAN

Spencer Graves spencer.graves at prodsyse.com
Mon Nov 10 01:18:40 CET 2014

       Might it be appropriate to add "http://metacran.github.io/search" 
and the "sos" package to the official list of R search capabilities at 
"www.r-project.org/search.html"?  [Disclaimer:  I'm the lead author of 

       Best Wishes,
       Spencer Graves

On 11/9/2014 11:06 AM, Gábor Csárdi wrote:
> 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: http://metacran.github.io/search/
> 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
> 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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