Analysis package naming, or can package name differ from .Rproj name?

June 6, 2018 @jalsalam Jameel Alsalam

@jalsalam wrote:

I am attempting to explore different approaches for packing up reproducible R analyses. For example, I am reading:

"Packaging data analytical work reproducibly using R (and friends)" from the [Practical Data Science with Stats] (

and the design docs that came out of the research compendia group at the 2017 Ropensci unconf.

So one major recommendation is to put your analysis inside an R package. But R packages have fairly strict naming rules:

There are three formal requirements: the name can only consist of letters, numbers and periods, i.e., .; it must start with a letter; and it cannot end with a period. Unfortunately, this means you can’t use either hyphens or underscores, i.e., - or _, in your package name. I recommend against using periods in package names because it has confusing connotations (i.e., file extension or S3 method).

In addition, usethis::create_package and usethis::use_description error if used within a local folder/.Rproj file that does not follow this naming scheme.

For highly re-usable packages that are destined for CRAN, the space of short names without word-delimiters seems sufficient, but I think analysis packages are likely to chafe against these requirements. For presentation purposes, I want to name my Github repo something like My-Analysis-Of-Specific-Phenomena-In-Specific-Place. I could just take out all the spaces but it results in very ugly names.

So my question:

Can the package name in DESCRIPTION differ from the .Rproj/local folder/Github repo name?

If so, I assume that best place to make the cut is still have .Rproj == local == Github != package name, but I suppose there might be another way to do it. Will problems come up with using package tooling such as devtools/testthat/roxygen if I do this?

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