Sunday, 19 March 2017

BioCor: My first package in Bioconductor

Yesterday I received an amazing email:

Congratulations, BioCor has been added to Bioconductor!

Yes, I had submitted a package for the Bioconductor project at the beginning of the week.

The package calculates similarities between pathways, genes and clusters of genes based on their pathways. A pathway is a group of functionally related proteins, thus this similarities calculates the functional similarity of the pathway or genes in question.

If anyone is curious what the email had this was in the body (I didn't know what to expect when I knew that it would be accepted):

 Hi Lluís,

Congratulations, BioCor has been added to Bioconductor!
Currently, the definitive location for your Bioconductor package is
in our SVN repository. The following information is to help you in
your role as a package maintainer. You’ll need the following
credentials to maintain your package:

Subversion user ID: myuser
Password: mypassword

Package ‘landing pages’

Every package in Bioconductor gets its own landing page. Contents
from your DESCRIPTION file are pulled out to populate this page. Your
package’s permanent URL is

This URL will redirect to the release landing page of your package
(and until it’s released, the devel landing page); this is the URL
that should be used (in publications, etc.) to refer to your package.
You can also refer specifically to the devel, release, or specific
numbered version of Bioconductor:

Maintaining your package

for special instructions relating to ExperimentData package

Bioconductor currently maintains software packages in ‘release’ and
‘devel’ branches of a subversion (svn) repository.

The release branch is meant for end-users. A new release branch is
created once very 6 months, in April and October. At the release, the
current devel version of your package becomes the release
version. Only ‘bug fixes’ are made to the release branch. Since your
package has not gone through a release cycle, you do not yet have a
release branch — your package is only available to users of Bioc

The devel branch is where new packages are added, and where new
features are added to existing packages. Your package has been added
to the devel branch, and is available immediately to those
Bioconductor users who have chosen to ‘use devel’

Make any changes to the devel branch, and watch the release schedule for details of
the next release.

At the next release, your package code in the devel branch will be
become the release version of your package. The release version number
will be changed to 1.0.0. The code in the devel branch will continue,
but with version 1.1.0. If necessary, you’ll continue adding features
or updating your package in the devel branch, creating versions 1.1.1,
1.1.2, …; you’ll port bug fixes (NOT new features, or any change to
the ‘API’ seen by users!) to the release branch, creating versions
1.0.1, 1.0.2, …

This process will repeat at the next release, where the version of
your package available in devel will become version 1.2.0, and the
devel branch will continue with version 1.3.0.


Bioconductor packages are maintained under Subversion source
control. Use Subversion (or git, described below) to update your
package; see our short svn guide:

Your subversion account credentials are at the top of this email, or
are already known to you. The credentials give you read access to the
whole Bioconductor repository and WRITE permissions to the devel
(and eventually release) version of your package.

To update your package in the devel branch, you need to do the
following steps:

a) Install subversion(svn) on your machine, if it is not already installed.

b) Use the following command to checkout your packages files from the
Bioconductor subversion repository.

svn co --username myuser --password XXXXXXXXX

c) Make the necessary changes to your package.

d) Bump the version from x.y.z to x.y.(z+1) in your package’s
DESCRIPTION file. If the version is not properly changed your
changes will not be made available in the public repository.

e) Build your package tar ball

R CMD build BioCor

f) Check that the changes have produced a package consistent with R’s
check facility

R CMD check BioCor_x.y.(z+1).tar.gz

g) Fix any Warnings or Errors from step (e) and (f)

h) Check the updated source code in to Subversion

svn ci BioCor

g) Check the build report next day (see point 3 for details)

Please let me know if you have any questions or issues with your SVN

Remember, all new features and bug fixes are made to devel branch of
your package; only tested bug fixes should be ported to the release
branch. When testing your changes, be sure to use the ‘devel’ version
of Bioconductor (
and the appropriate version of R.

Git and github mirrors

If you prefer to use Git and / or GitHub instead of Subversion, you
can use the Bioconductor Git mirrors which are documented at

Build report

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address any warnings or errors from your packages build report.

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Using the support site and bioc-devel mailing list

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We recommend that you ‘follow’ tags that match your own package (such
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Please maintain your subscription to the Bioc-devel mailing, so that
you are aware of Bioconductor project and other developments, Also, after your
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you may send a note to Bioc-devel to announce its public availability
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Updating maintainer status

If for some reason, your email address changes, please update the
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package from Bioconductor.

If you want to add a new maintainer or transfer responsibility to
someone else, please email us at and clearly
state the new maintainers name, email address and CC them on the

If you no longer want to maintain your package, please let us know and
we will remove it from Bioconductor, or (with your permission) find
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Thank you for contributing to the Bioconductor project!

Martin Morgan

Many thanks for accepting the package! I hope you'll find it useful.

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