[Rd] CRAN meta archives

Lluís Revilla ||u|@@rev|||@ @end|ng |rom gm@||@com
Mon May 30 15:43:19 CEST 2022

Dear all,

I'm trying to learn a bit about the CRAN history and how it is operated.
I was looking at the source code of the tools package and found in
CRANtools.R some internal functions retrieving files accessible
outside CRAN such as tools:::CRAN_archive_db().
There is a lot of information there, but I'm not sure I'm interpreting
it correctly.
I would appreciate it if someone could help regarding this.

For example, that file archive.rds has a list with the file.info
information of the packages archived. I see they match the date on the
websites such as https://cran.r-project.org/src/contrib/Archive/leaps/
But in other files (tools:::CRAN_current_db) the date matches the
publication date as shown in tools:::CRAN_package_db. Are these dates
(mtime) when the package was published or when the package was

These files also report a user name, does it mean that the user
archived or made the final decision to accept the package (and may or
may be not involved with archiving it)? I received mails from some
people at the CRAN team managing some submissions that do not seem to
appear on the files. Similarly, I see user names of people that as far
as I know are not in the CRAN team.

I'm also thinking about how often these files are updated. Are these
files updated daily at a fixed schedule or is the process more

I take the opportunity to thank Uwe Ligges, Kurt Hornik and Brian
Ripley for all your dedication to CRAN and I look forward to the next
20 years of CRAN success.

Best wishes,


PS: I only found a mention of this function in the list in the past
https://stat.ethz.ch/pipermail/r-devel/2017-February/073811.html but I
didn't find other mentions in the archives.

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