[R] how to deal with deprecated functions

Duncan Murdoch murdoch@dunc@n @end|ng |rom gm@||@com
Thu Dec 5 18:16:21 CET 2019

On 04/12/2019 2:07 p.m., Nestor Toledo wrote:
> Hello everyone, even I'm not fluent in coding, R has become a
> fundamental part of my daily work as a researcher and I'm very much
> grateful for such a wonderful, open tool. However, I have faced in many
> opportunities the problems associated with updates/upgrades of packages.
> Frequently packages developers modify command syntax or directly
> deprecate entire functions. This becomes a nuisance, since I must to
> recode my scripts partially or totally, or even search for alternative
> functions in other packages. Is there any solution to this, other than
> skip updates or keeping old versions installed in a different folder?
> Could be acceptable ask developers to do not deprecate functions but
> keep them as "legacy" ones or similar?
> Thanks in advance and I apologize for my deficient English grammar

As Rui said, there's no easy way to prevent this.  In my experience, 
most maintainers are quite willing to avoid changes that cause problems, 
or help users to work around them:  but they have to know that problems 
were caused.

The easiest way to do this is to share your own code by putting it in a 
package on CRAN with sufficient tests to detect problems.  When a 
package maintainer submits a package update, CRAN checks that all 
"revdeps" (i.e. reverse dependencies, packages that depend on the 
updated one) still pass their tests.  The submitter is asked to contact 
the maintainers of the other packages to resolve any new problems.

Duncan Murdoch

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