covrpage can help you choose whether to trust a package. As a potential user of a package whose repo or website features a covrpage report, this vignette will help you understand how can you use that information to make an informed decision on:

  • whether to use the package at all, or right now;

  • whether to stay away from some of its functionalities for the time being?

As a package developer, this same information can help you assess what trustworthiness your own package is radiating.

Case 1: package with a passing Travis build/local R CMD check

(i.e. a green Travis badge)

  • You can look at the test coverage percent but that number can be manipulated in too many ways to look good or bad.

Now, in the covrpage report.

  • Look at distribution of coverage (table 1)
    • check if there are whole groups of functionalities that were not tested.
    • if you need the line by line coverage go to Codecov/Coveralls (linked from the test coverage badge) and dig in there.
  • look at test stats in (table 2)
    • summary of what tests contain a lot of skipped/warning, is it concentrated in only one or is it all over the tested files.
  • look at breakdown of tests (table 3)
    • this table is hidden on a successful build and is open if any test is non-passing. It is a simple visual cue that informs you the reader if something is wrong.
    • see if they make sense and seem robust
    • see if any throw warnings or are skipped, and check why (skip_travis/skip_cran)
    • use links to jump to actual problem tests/expectations to investigate further

Case 2: package with a failing Travis build/local R CMD check

(i.e. a red Travis badge)

In the covrpage report,

  • you’ll see a disclaimer at the top if tests failed, see this example.

  • look at (table 1) for the approximate distribution of coverage to see where it stands in the development (also have a look at the main README to see it contains a lifecycle or repo status badge)

  • find where the failed tests are located in (table 2), if failing tests are the reason for the build failure. Icons will help you locate them, see this example.

  • look at the expectations from (table 3) and have a better informed decision on whether to use that package and to know what functionality to stay away from.
    • this table is hidden on a successful build and is open if any test is non-passing. It is a simple visual cue that informs you the reader if something is wrong.

This should help you having an idea of what to expect from the developer of the package going forward what is going to be fixed.