CRANberries is now tweeting

January 23, 2011

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

The CRANberries service (which reports on new and updated CRAN packages for the R language and environment) is now tweeting about new packages. Simply follow @CRANberriesFeed to receive theses messages.

For the technically minded, adding this to the existing 200-line program which runs all of CRANberries was very easy. CRANberries relies only on R itself and a few Unix tools like diffstat as well as the simple blosxom txt-to-html/rss 'blog compiler'. The tweeting itself is now done by this new function

tweetNewBlogEntry <- function(curPkg, curVer, reposurl) {
    ## tests reveal that pipe(), cat(), close() is easiest
    ## to send multiple messages, may need --background option
    con <- pipe("bti --config bti.conf", "w")
    cat("New CRAN package", curPkg, "with initial version", curVer, "\n", file=con)
which simply pipes the message in Greg KH's bti program (which is now a new dependency). Special thanks to its Debian maintainer Gregor Herrmann for some helpful emails; I am using the newest release 0.29 which itself needs liboauth0. Once OAuth tokens are set-up (and see here for how to do that) all we need is the three-liner above.

At this point I am not too sure what to do about updated packages. One message per updated package seems too noisy. To be seen---comments or suggestions welcome.

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