[Rd] Underscores in package names

Gabriel Becker g@bembecker @end|ng |rom gm@||@com
Fri Aug 9 19:55:28 CEST 2019

Hi Jim,

While its true that it wouldn't be *particularly *hard^^ to adapt the base
code to change this, there is certainly a non-zero amount of user/package
code that relies on the well-defined package tarball naming scheme as well.
I know because I've written some myself in switchr/GRAN* but I seriously
doubt I'm the only one. I would imagine there's also quite a bit of more if
you include DEVOPSy-style build/administration scripts and not just user R

To me, the benefit of this change seems a pretty minor "nice-to-have" when
weighed against breaking even a moderate amount of existing code.

^^ making sure we found every place the tarball naming scheme/package name
constraints are implicitly assumed in the R sources might well be less
trivial than we think, though once found I agree the changes would likely
be *relatively* straightforward. For example, I happen to know that in
addition to the places Duncan pointed out,  tools::update_PACKAGES relies
heavily on code that extracts the name and version of a package from
something that "looks like a package tarball" as an optimization mechanism,
so that would need to be reworked. It seems likely  (almost certain?) that
write_PACKAGES also relies on matching the tarball-name patter when
determining which packages are present, though I remember less details
there because I didn't write most of it.


On Fri, Aug 9, 2019 at 9:40 AM Kevin Wright <kw.stat using gmail.com> wrote:

> Please, no.  I'd also like to disallow uppercase letters in package names.
> For instance, the cuteness of using a capital "R" in package names is
> outweighed by the annoyance of trying to remember which packages use an
> upper-case letter.
> On Thu, Aug 8, 2019 at 9:32 AM Jim Hester <james.f.hester using gmail.com>
> wrote:
> > Are there technical reasons that package names cannot be snake case?
> > This seems to be enforced by `.standard_regexps()$valid_package_name`
> > which currently returns
> >
> >    "[[:alpha:]][[:alnum:].]*[[:alnum:]]"
> >
> > Is there any technical reason this couldn't be altered to accept `_`
> > as well, e.g.
> >
> >   "[[:alpha:]][[:alnum:]._]*[[:alnum:]]"
> >
> > I realize that historically `_` has not always been valid in variable
> > names, but this has now been acceptable for 15+ years (since R 1.9.0 I
> > believe). Might we also allow underscores for package names?
> >
> > Jim
> >
> > ______________________________________________
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> >
> --
> Kevin Wright
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