R 2.10.0 requires r-cran-* rebuilds

Dirk Eddelbuettel edd at debian.org
Tue Oct 20 14:26:48 UTC 2009


The quick three-liner (at the very bottom of this mail) identified you as a
maintainer of an R package in Debian.  As I wrote to debian-devel (and later
debian-release who ignored me, again CCed here though):

   R 2.10.0, due out October 26, will switch to an internal html converter
   from the latex-alike Rd format coupled with an internal webserver.  See
   below for the section on 'Significant user-visible changes' in the NEWS
   file from 2.10.0 -- taken from the Oct 13 beta currently in unstable.

   This means we "should" rebuild all packages or else they will upon load
   trigger a nagging message 'package foo was built under R version x.y.z and
   may not function properly' as well as possible malfunctions of the help
   system.  As we're only talking 100+ packages, this should work.

   I would appreciate some pointers as to how I can milk our fancypants new
   mega databases to extracts all packages (matching r-cran-*; there are only
   one or two exceptions to that rules) and their maintainers ... and ideally
   even monitor most recent re-builds.  Anybody feel like sharing some hints
   with me off-line?

   Also, and the security minded folks may want to consider the second bullet
   point: do we need to worry about this or not as it is just the loopback
   interface?  Seems fine to me but I figured I'd better ask :)

   Please CC me on replies.

   Cheers, Dirk

and I didn't hear anything but the suggestion to use debian-release, I
suggest that we at least start this informally.

So you could you please make time to rebuild your r-cran-* (or r-other-*)
packages with 


or later?   If we get all 100+ packages in shape before R 2.10.0-1 (or later)
gets to testing -- around Oct 26 plus at least 10 days in testing -- we
should be fine.

Let me know if you have questions.  


R 2.10.0 NEWS file follows

	*						 *
	*	       2.10 SERIES NEWS			 *
	*						 *



    o	Package help is now converted from Rd by the R-based converters
	that were first introduced in 2.9.0.  This means

	- Packages that were installed by R-devel after 2009-08-09
	  should not be used with earlier versions of R, and most
	  aspects of package help (including the runnable examples)
	  will be missing if they are so used.

	- Text, HTML and latex help and examples for packages
	  installed under the new system are converted on-demand from
	  stored parsed Rd files.  (Conversions stored in packages
	  installed under R < 2.10.0 are used if no parsed Rd files
	  are found.  It is recommended that such packages be

    o	HTML help is now generated dynamically using an HTTP server
	running in the R process and listening on the loopback

	- Those worried about security implications of such a server
	  can disable it by setting the environment variable
	  R_DISABLE_HTTPD to a non-empty value.  This disables
	  help.start() and HTML help (so text help is shown instead).

	- The Java/Javascript search engine has been replaced by an
	  HTML interface to help.search().  help.start() no longer has
	  an argument 'searchEngine' as it is no longer needed.

	- The HTML help can now locate cross-references of the form
          \link[pkg]{foo} and \link[pkg:foo]{bar} where 'foo' is an
          alias in the package, rather than the documented (basename
          of a) filename (since the documentation has been much

Helper script:

pkgs=$(apt-cache rdepends r-base-core | grep "  r-" | grep -v -e "r-base\|r-doc\|r-recommended\|r-mathlib" | sort)
(for p in ${pkgs}; do apt-cache show ${p} 2>&1; done) | grep Maintainer: | sort | uniq

Three out of two people have difficulties with fractions.

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