[Rd] depending on orphaned packages?

Martin Maechler m@ech|er @end|ng |rom @t@t@m@th@ethz@ch
Wed Sep 25 09:26:01 CEST 2019

>>>>> Ben Bolker 
>>>>>     on Tue, 24 Sep 2019 20:09:55 -0400 writes:

    > SuppDists is orphaned on CRAN (and has been since 2013).
    > https://cran.r-project.org/web/checks/check_results_.html

    > Oddly, the simulate method for the inverse.gaussian family
    > [inverse.gaussian()$simulate] depends (in a loose sense) on SuppDists
    > (it fails if the SuppDists namespace is not available:

    > if (!requireNamespace("SuppDists", quietly = TRUE))
    > stop("need CRAN package 'SuppDists' for simulation from the
    > 'inverse.gaussian' family")

    > The statmod package also implements inverse gaussian d/p/q/r functions
    > <https://journal.r-project.org/archive/2016-1/giner-smyth.pdf>.  It is
    > lightweight (depends on R >= 3.0.0, imports only base packages [stats
    > and graphics]) and has been around for a long time (archived versions on
    > CRAN go back to 2003).

    > Would it make sense to replace the call to SuppDists::rinvGauss with a
    > corresponding call to statmod::rinvgauss ?  Would a patch be considered?

    > Ben Bolker

I'd say "yes" & "yes".

"Base" code weekly depending on CRAN packages (apart from
formally 'Recommended' ones)  is somewhat sub-optimal in any
case, ((but possibly still the best thing, given reality
        [maintenance efforts, copyrights, ...])),
but your proposal seems a  "uniformly not worse"  change
((and I have very much liked delving into parts of Gordon
  Smyth's textbook on GLMs as a really nice mixture / in-between
  of rigorous math and applied stats))

Martin Maechler
ETH Zurich and R Core

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