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Feature request: ask to install tutorial dependencies #253

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isteves opened this issue Jul 8, 2019 · 3 comments

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@isteves
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@isteves isteves commented Jul 8, 2019

Hi! @jules32, @angela-li, and I are working on improving the use_tutorial() function for usethis, which sets up the learnr tutorial package format . Our two main use cases are (1) package developers that want to include tutorials as documentation and (2) course instructors that want to distribute a bundle of tutorials to students.

For course instructors, it's especially important to minimize friction related to package installs. Thus, it would be great if run_tutorial() would prompt the user to install packages that the tutorial depends on.

@cderv recommended 3 options to find the dependencies in the tutorial:

utils::menu() could then be used to ask users if it's okay to install all the dependencies.

@schloerke

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@schloerke schloerke commented Jul 8, 2019

This is a great idea!

Do you think packrat::appDependencies would work for this use case?

A difficulty that we have run into for learnr documents is that authors are writing broken code for students to fix. While great for teaching, this is hard to parse. rstudio/packrat#551 fixed this by parsing per chunk vs the whole file. learnr's next release will already have packrat as a suggested dependency to help with this deployment problem, so no new dependency will be needed.

I am open to a PR. Maybe install_tutorial_dependencies(file)?

Please do not include graphics for utils::menu.


Thank you for the help with usethis::use_tutorial()!

@isteves

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@isteves isteves commented Jul 11, 2019

It looks like packrat:::fileDependencies() will work for this. I hadn't thought of broken code, but it definitely seems like a common use-case in teaching!

I'll see what I can put together 👍

Noted. 😄 Gabor also mentioned that it can be problematic

@isteves isteves mentioned this issue Jul 17, 2019
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@cderv

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@cderv cderv commented Jul 30, 2019

This should now be closed by #267.
Thanks for the idea @isteves!

@schloerke schloerke closed this Jul 30, 2019
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