I'm on a grant whose goal is to develop reliable kinship links to facilitate BG and other developmental studies with the NLSY samples (eg, http://www.bls.gov/nls/nlsy79.htm ). We're developing an R package (cran.r-project.org/web/packages/NlsyLinks/) that assists with many of the common manipulations and analyses. We're targeting all BG researchers who are interested in the NLSY, including those with limited experience in R.
OpenMx seems like a natural fit for our examples, but I'm hesitant to use it in our basic documentation, because of two deployment issues:
(1) It doesn't have the typical deployment pattern for an R package, and
(2) It's not available in 64-bit Windows.
We'll definitely include OpenMx in the vignette examples, but it doesn't seem like a good fit for the documentation examples. I feel that anything beyond 10 example lines erodes the cohesiveness of the page. I don't want to explain that they'll need to close their 64-bit session and open a new 32-bit session (which is necessary if they're using the R Console, Tinn-R or RStudio). These extra details make the documentation examples much less automatic. They're trivial to experienced R users, but we're hoping to expand beyond that group.
Also, I'm hesitant to spend a few lines explaining that that the "source('http://openmx.psyc.virginia.edu/getOpenMx.R')" line will install OpenMx. That's something that the imports/depends/suggests package option does smoothly behind the scenes without user intervention.
I'm wondering if the package documentation will even pass the "R CMD check" process if it depends on a non-standard repository. (The documentation says a general rule is "All packages that are needed to successfully run R CMD check on the package must be listed in one of ‘Depends’ or ‘Suggests’ or ‘Imports’. Packages used to run examples or tests conditionally (e.g. via if(require(pkgname))) should be listed in ‘Suggests’ or ‘Enhances’. (This allows checkers to ensure that all the packages needed for a complete check are installed.)" -http://cran.r-project.org/doc/manuals/R-exts.html).
How have these issues been addressed in the past? Are there any existing R packages that use OpenMx (in their documentation examples or as an imports/depends/suggests option) that I can learn from?
We know there are other SEM packages, but I really prefer this one. We're most familiar with Mx/OpenMx. We also feel it could be the best choice for the users of our package (both in the beginners and as the learn more BG).
Mike Hunter has been kind enough to explain the licensing issues why OpenMx isn't immediately available through the conventional CRAN mechanism. And regarding the Windows 64-bit build, have the developers considered using R's WinBuilder (http://win-builder.r-project.org/ )? I've never used it, but its self-description is: "this is intended for developers on other platforms who do not have access to Windows but wish to provide binaries for the Windows platform."
edit: modified description of grant's goals.