[Rd] Add a new environment variable switch for the 'large version' check

Henrik Bengtsson henr|k@bengt@@on @end|ng |rom gm@||@com
Thu Apr 16 18:06:31 CEST 2020

I'd second Jim's feature request - it would be useful to be able to
disable this in CI and elsewhere.    The concept of using an "unusual"
version component such as a very large number does a nice job of
indicating "unusual" and serves as a blocker for submitting
work-in-progress to CRAN by mistake (hence the validation in 'R CMD

Another point, which I don't think Jim made, is that this would make
it possible to run R CMD check --as-cran on your work-in-progress and
get all OKs.  This in turn would allow us to trigger a non-zero exit
status also for NOTEs (not just ERRORs and WARNINGs).  Currently, the
warning on -9000 is a false positive in this sense.  This will allow
developers to be more conservative without risking to treat NOTEs as
something to expect as normal.  CI services are typically configured
to alert the developer on ERRORs and WARNINGs but, AFAIK, not on

On the topic of unusual version numbers: I'd like to suggest that
CRAN(*) makes an unusual version bump whenever they orphan a package,
e.g. to suffix -00001. CRAN already updates/modifies the package
tarball for orphaned packages by setting 'Maintainer: ORPHANED' in the
DESCRIPTION file. By also bumping the version of orphaned packages it
would it stand out in sessionInfo(), which helps in troubleshooting
and bug reports, etc.  But more importantly, the most recent stable
CRAN release remain untouched, which I think has a value by itself for
scientific purposes.


(*) Yes, I should email CRAN about this, but I think it's worth
vetting it here first.

On Thu, Apr 16, 2020 at 7:44 AM Dirk Eddelbuettel <edd using debian.org> wrote:
> Or you use a fourth component to signal a development version as Rcpp has
> done for years (and, IIRC, for longer than devtools et al used '9000').
> There is no functional difference between and They are
> both larger than 1.2.3 (in the package_version() sense) and signal an
> intermediate version between 1.2.3 and 1.2.4.
> But one requires a patch. ¯\_(ツ)_/¯.
> Dirk
> --
> http://dirk.eddelbuettel.com | @eddelbuettel | edd using debian.org
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