cran2deb: Would you like 1700+ new Debian / R packages ?

July 13, 2009

(This article was first published on Thinking inside the box , and kindly contributed to R-bloggers)

As I mentioned in my quick write-up of UseR 2009, one of my talks was about cran2deb: a system to turn (essentially) all CRAN packages into directly apt-get-able binary packages.

This is essentially a '2.0' version of earlier work with Steffen Moeller and David Vernazobres which we had presented in 2007. Then, the approach was top-down and monolithic which started to show its limits. This time, the idea was to borrow the successful bottom-up approach of my CRANberries feed.

The bulk of the work was done by Charles Blundell as part of his Google Summer of Code 2008 project which I had suggested and mentored. After that project had concluded, we both felt we should continue with it and bring it to 'production'. The CRAN hosts provided us with a (virtual Xen) machine to build on, and we are now ready to more publically announce the availability of the repositories for i386 and amd64:

  deb testing/
  deb testing/

A few more details are provided in our presentation slides. We look forward to hearing from folks using; the r-sig-debian list may be a good venue for this.

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