Dirk Eddelbuettel: Introducing drat: Lightweight R Repositories

Planet Debian - Thu, 05/02/2015 - 12:36

A new package of mine just got to CRAN in its very first version 0.0.1: drat. Its name stands for drat R Archive Template, and an introduction is provided at the drat page, the the GitHub repository, and below.

drat builds on a core strength of R: the ability to query multiple repositories. Just how one could always query, say, CRAN, BioConductor and OmegaHat---one can now adds drats of one or more other developers with ease. drat also builds on a core strength of GitHub. Every user automagically as corresponding github.io address, and by appending drat we are getting a standardized URL.

drat combines both strengths. So after an initial install.packages("drat") to get drat, you can just do either one of

library(drat) addRepo("eddelbuettel")

or equally


to register my drat. Now install.packages() will work using this new drat, as will update.packages(). The fact that the update mechanism works is a key strength: not only can you get a package, but you can gets its updates once its author replaces them into his drat.

How does one do that? Easy! For a package foo_0.1.0.tar.gz we do

library(drat) insertPackage("foo_0.1.0.tar.gz")

The default git repository locally is taken as the default ~/git/drat/ but can be overriden as both a local default (via options()) or directly on the command-line. Note that this also assumes that you a) have a gh-pages branch and b) have it currently active. Automating this / testing for this is left for a subsequent release. Also available is an alternative unexported short-hand function:

drat:::insert("foo_0.1.0.tar.gz", "/opt/myWork/git")

show here with the alternate use case of a local fileshare you can copy into and query from---something we do at work where we share packages only locally.

So that's it. Two exported functions, and two unexported (potentially name-clobbering) shorthands. Now drat away!

Courtesy of CRANberries, there is also a copy of the DESCRIPTION file for this initial release. More detailed information is on the drat page.

This post by Dirk Eddelbuettel originated on his Thinking inside the box blog. Please report excessive re-aggregation in third-party for-profit settings.

Categories: Elsewhere

Daniel Pocock: Github iCalendar issue feed now scans all repositories

Planet Debian - Thu, 05/02/2015 - 07:41

The Github iCalendar feed has now been updated to scan issues in all of your repositories.

It is no longer necessary to list your repositories in the configuration file or remember to add new repositories to the configuration from time to time.


Below is a screenshot from Mozilla Lightning (known as Iceowl extension on Debian) showing the issues from a range of my projects on Github.

Notice in the bottom left corner that I can switch each of my feeds on and off just by (un)ticking a box.

Categories: Elsewhere

Drupal core announcements: Drupal core updates for Feb 4, 2015

Planet Drupal - Thu, 05/02/2015 - 02:02

Since the last Drupal Core Update on January 12th, the Drupal Association awarded the first round of the new D8 Accelerate grants; nominations for the Drupal Association Director at Large have opened (and there are already some candidates); and, in spite of the blizzard raging outside, the contributors at the Drupal 8 core critical issues sprint at DrupalCamp NJ fixed 12 critical issues, 4 major issues, plus moved another 7 criticals and 7 majors forward, and more in the Drupal 8 menu links system!

We're making excellent progress on Drupal 8! Core critical hours have been a great success and the number of critical issues is steadily falling:

Some other highlights of the month were:

How can I help get Drupal 8 done?

See Help get Drupal 8 released! for updated information on the current state of the release and more information on how you can help.

Even if you're not yet familiar with Drupal 8's code, we need people with Drupal 7 skills to make changes to Drupal.org's infrastructure and fix contribution barriers so that Drupal.org is ready for Drupal 8's release. Check out the meeting notes for more information.

We're also looking for more contributors to help compile these posts. Contact xjm if you'd like to help!

Drupal 8 In Real Life
  • DrupalCon Latin America 2015 is coming up fast! It starts on February 10th! If you're looking to buy a ticket, you need to do so before February 8th if you want to take advantage of regular ticket pricing! The price goes up USD$36 if you wait to buy your tickets at the door!
  • The MidWest Developers Summit is happening on August 12—15. More details later this year.
Whew! That's a wrap!

Do you follow Drupal Planet with devotion, or keep a close eye on the Drupal event calendar, or git pull origin 8.0.x every morning without fail before your coffee? We're looking for more contributors to help compile these posts. You could either take a few hours once every six weeks or so to put together a whole post, or help with one section more regularly. If you'd like to volunteer for helping to draft these posts, please follow the steps here!

Categories: Elsewhere

KatteKrab: For people who use the web

Planet Drupal - Thu, 05/02/2015 - 01:48
Thursday, February 5, 2015 - 11:48


Accessibility matters. For everyone. For those of us who build the web, and for those who use it too. All of us.

Here's a couple of great resources that caught my attention in recent days.

Anne Gibson writes that "Web accessibility means that people can use the web." in an article on List Apart about Reframing Accessibility for the Web. It's really good. She advocates creating a test matrix for accessibility and putting the focus back on the technology available, rather than the abilities of the people who use it. This is strong, clear practical advice we should all consider.

Jeremy Fields has repurposed the WCAG and WebAIM reccomendations to create an Interactive WCAG guide. This makes it easy to link to a specific principal or guideline. 

Discovering these two resources pushed me to reframe some recent conversations about meeting these guidelines.  We often get stuck debating compliance details, when really we should be thinking about setting our content free as flexibly and cleanly as possible.  We're not just ticking boxes.  At least, I hope we're not.

Drupal is one of the best content platforms for web accessibility, but it still has shortcomings. Unfortunately, many people who lack the deep understanding of what makes accessibility important still build sites that don't meet WCAG guidelines.  I think it's up to all of us to spend a bit more time getting up to speed on the intricacies, and build it into our practice, and not just meet those guidelines, but exceed them!

[Image from from the W3C's Web Accessibility Initiative Guidelines and Techniques page - Read a description of this image ]

Categories: Elsewhere

Károly Négyesi: Good bye

Planet Drupal - Thu, 05/02/2015 - 01:37

This is the last post this blog sees; professional content will continue to be posted on the Tag1 Consulting blog, personal ramblings will disappear. I already asked for this blog to removed. I would like to say in closing: the future of Drupal blog post was not meant to be a critique of Acquia who puts several people full time on Drupal core and contributes more money on top. The future of Drupal blog post was -- or tried to be -- about what I feel the future of the Drupal is: an enterprise-y software with a formal governance on top of the community. Not for the first time my intentions and what people managed to read out of my words are clashing so wildly that it's better not to post more here or the issue queue. Work still requires me to do the latter but I will try to stay away from architecture decisions and any such controversial topics.

Categories: Elsewhere

Acquia: Digital Government Services and Drupal – meet Ian Read

Planet Drupal - Wed, 04/02/2015 - 22:01
Language Undefined

I met Ian Read, Front End Development Team Leader at TSO/Williams Lea Public Sector at Drupal Camp Brighton, where I found out that he has recently been involved in a subject close to my heart: Drupal and government. He was part of the team that designed and built the attractive, responsive, and very functional London Borough of Croydon's new council website. In our conversation, we touch on the value that the Drupal community provides to everyone involved; Drupal and innovation in government digital services; the thought process, needs, design and more that went into the new Croydon Council Drupal website; and more!

Categories: Elsewhere

Johannes Schauer: I became a Debian Developer

Planet Debian - Wed, 04/02/2015 - 18:09

Thanks to akira for the confetti to celebrate the occasion!

Categories: Elsewhere


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