First post!

July 20, 14

My name is Ian, and I'm the developer behind rpackages.

I started this site because I had two major frustrations:

  • Reading documentation for R packages was more difficult than it needed to be. I was sick of trawling through PDF documents which didn't put the information in the order that I needed it.
  • Often, I'd install a package and find that it didn't work, or often didn't even compile correctly.

I started pulling out the documentation and compiling it on my laptop so that it could be indexed locally, and realised that other people might be interested in the same thing. I also started some VMs to build the packages so that if nothing else, I had advance warning of problems before I invested a lot of time into a package.

The dream

I want R to be treated as seriously as any other commercial statistics package.

I've argued with companies many times who won't take R seriously because it "isn't validated" or "isn't tested". And that's a valid complaint! But if you use SPSS or SAS for only a few minutes, you'll realise that they are also as buggy as sin -- they just have the 'validation' tick.

This site is my contribution to getting R taken seriously. We test the packages before use. All of them. We write acceptance tests. And if necessary, we certify combinations of core R and the packages as 'validated' and use them for our work.

The future

I have a long, long list of features for this website. I want you tell me your ideas, too! Send me an email, a tweet, or just leave a Disqus comment at the bottom of any page. I promise, I read every single one of them.

In the near term, I want to:

  • Get all of the CRAN package documentation fully loaded, compiled and pretty on the web.
  • Add a search function over the package names and the package documentation. That way, to look up something, you'll be able to just type "rpa<tab>" in the Chrome address bar, and your documentation will pop up.
  • Start publishing test results for packages.
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