What is next for RStudio Package Manager? What should be next?

RStudio just released the public beta of the RStudio Package Manager. What's up next?

On the short term horizon, we’re working on two exciting features:

  • The ability to version repositories and “freeze” them. You may have noticed that in RStudio Package Manager a repository URL includes “/latest”. RStudio Package Manager automatically versions every change to a repository with a unique ID that can be used in place of “latest”. In the next release, we’ll provide users access to these IDs so that in certain contexts they can install packages from a “frozen” repository. For example, the following line in a Dockerfile would be guaranteed to always return the same packages when the container is rebuilt:

RUN R -e "install.packages(..., repo = "https://our-rspm.example.com/repo/118")

  • RStudio Package Manager allows organizations to host internal R packages alongside packages from CRAN. This mechanism can also be used to host packages from GitHub. However, we recognize that updating these packages can be a pain. (Today, someone has to create the bundled version of the package and then an admin has to use the CLI). In the near future, you’ll be able to point RStudio Package Manager at a Git repo and RStudio Package Manager will handle automatically watching for commits or tagged releases and deploying those changes automatically.

In the longer term horizon, we’re excited to work on package binaries. As part of this work, RStudio Package Manager will also be able to answer an age-old question for Linux admins, “What system dependencies do I need for package xyz?”

What else should we be working on?

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Hi @slopp,

Binaries was something you announced here as a long term goal. Is this still the case ?

I can't manage to find infos or make it work with the product currently so I believe it is not something yet available ?

It would be really nice to be able to publish windows binaries so that we can

  • use it to publish internal packages for our windows user
  • replace our internal rsync CRAN with Package manager. We currently can't do that because our windows user will have to wait a very long time for source installation whereas currently with our rsync cran, the installation is lot quicker from the windows binary.

Am I missing this feature from the doc ?
Is it still something you are working on ?

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Hi @cderv!

We are working on Linux package binaries right now (much more to come on this soon). The next set of priorities are still TBD, but providing Windows binaries ranks high on our list.



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Glad to know it still high on the list ! This is the only thing I see that currently prevent us to replace our cran rsync mirror with RSPM. If you have a priority list with likes, put one for me there ! :wink:

Linux binaries will be something really helpful for many organizations. I am really eager to know more - bu also curious to see how it will could fit in organization like ours where the topic of linux binaries is controlled by some specific team for all the on-premise environment of the company.


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@cderv, Did you do anything special to set up your CRAN rsync mirror? We are having a hard time getting a response from cran-sysadmin@r-project.org after sending them our public ssh keys.

Another vote for Windows binaries here...

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Not necessarily a Package Manager feature (so feel free to edit this out to a separate thread), but I regularly find that colleagues "try out" packages installed directly from CRAN or Github that corrupt their package set and then they need to "roll back" to a working set. What would you recommend for managing that process? Ideally a single function call that would "roll back" to a defined Package Manager snapshot...

Maybe renv would be useful in that scenario.

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That sounds like a very useful package, but it may require a slightly different workflow to what my colleagues and I are used to... I'll look into it though.