[Developers] What we need in ADMB

Arni Magnusson arnima at hafro.is
Thu Jun 17 19:55:27 PDT 2010

Good point Mark, this opens a new and exciting chapter for the ADMB 
Project. I have created a new Plone directory,


containing Steve Martell's instructions and example.

The R package model is indeed very successful, and was based on the 
experience of older software projects, such as LaTeX. The R approach goes 
something like this:

(1) For a package to be accepted, every function must be documented in a 
standard format, described in the "Writing R Extensions" manual. The R 
Team provides the service of compiling a user manual (HTML and PDF) from 
the standard documentation format. Furthermore, package authors should 
write an example application or two, demonstrating how the function works.

(2) A package gets kicked out of the collection if the example 
applications crash in the newest version of R, after a few weeks grace 

(3) Specific functions are occasionally promoted from a user package into 
one of the base packages. This is rare and only dicussed in "closed 

(4) Most packages focus on a well-defined theme of tasks, but there's also 
a few PeterMisc and PaulMisc packages around.

We could adopt a similar approach. The standard documentation format would 
probably use Doxygen, and it should be easy to compile a user manual from 
that. Our Buildbot could test the example applications.

John Sibert knows Doxygen best, so maybe he can suggest a standard 
documentation format, with an example of what the corresponding user 
manual might look like. To keep things simple, we could work from Steve 
Martell's contribution 


On Thu, 17 Jun 2010, Mark Maunder wrote:

> From the recently sent around R article under why R succeeded:
> "The package system, introduced early in the life of R, permits 
> individuals to participate in the development of R without the direct 
> intervention of the R Core group. In a sense, the package system - like 
> version control - is a technological solution to a social problem: how 
> to invite, motivate, and coordinate the activity of hundreds of 
> volunteers without overwhelming the resources of the Core team."
> We need to have a place for user supplied libraries. We need to start it 
> off by a number of us including our own libraries. Finally, we need a 
> way to review the libraries, "certify them", then add them to the core 
> code.
> Mark

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