Is there any interest among the stan-dev R package developers for making a independent package repository for the official stan-dev R packages?
I am not proposing this with eliminating CRAN in mind, but as an easier way of publishing new R package versions before they reach CRAN or for R packages that have no interest in getting on CRAN.
This is a much simpler alternative to using
devtools::install_github(), allows distributing binary packages and also allows CRAN-hosted packages to use these packages even if not on CRAN.
The users would add our repository to their list of repositories:
options(repos = c("https://packages.mc-stan.org", getOption("repos"))
install.packages("rstan") would install the newest version available on our repository. The alternative would be to specify our repository only for specific stuff.
install.packages("cmdstanr", repos = c("https://packages.mc-stan.org"))
There are two ways we could go about doing this:
- use a Github repository as a package repository
Any Github repository can be a static website. Hence any Github repository can also be used for hosting R packages. Example: https://github.com/RcppCore/drat
In this case
would install from this repository. The downside of this is that Github was never really meant for hosting huge tarball files, so this is probably only useful for a small number of packages with not a lot of turnaround. Which might be our case, I dont know.
- self hosted static web page
In this case we need to have a static web page (for example http://packages.mc-stan.org) hosted somewhere. Maybe we could add that to the same machine that hosts https://jenkins.mc-stan.org/ and add the packages sub-domain to it but I am not sure how busy the machine is right now and if it could handle the additional load. @serban-nicusor how busy is the machine running https://jenkins.mc-stan.org/?
- static web page hosted on AWS S3 or some other hosting provider
This obviously brings some additional costs, I am not exactly sure how much though, as its hard to estimate all the different traffic numbers you need to input in the hosting pricing calculator to get a ballpark number for monthly pricing. I think @ahartikainen mentioned once that azure and NumFocus have some kind of agreement for open-source projects and free services. I am not sure if that is still relevant.
@dpastoor would you maybe know a ballpark figure of the ROpenSci AWS S3 traffic numbers or charge? Ours would obivously smaller than rOpenSCI.