[Rd] organisation of packages & CRAN

Michael Lawrence lawrence.michael at gene.com
Mon Nov 10 01:26:08 CET 2014

On Sun, Nov 9, 2014 at 8:24 AM, Steven Sagaert <steven.sagaert at gmail.com>

> 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.

Just wanted to point out that this extra metadata idea has been pursued by
the Bioconductor BiocViews feature.


> 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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