A previous post discussed how to manage large SpaDES projects, and suggested the following project directory structure:

myProject/            # a version controlled git repo
  |_  .git/
  |_  cache/            # should be .gitignore'd
  |_  inputs/           # should be .gitignore'd (selectively)
  |_  manuscripts/
  |_  modules/
    |_  module1/      # can be a git submodule
    |_  module2/      # can be a git submodule
    |_  module3/      # can be a git submodule
    |_  module4/      # can be a git submodule
    |_  module5/      # can be a git submodule
  |_  outputs/          # should be .gitignore'd
  ...

The layout of a project directory is somewhat flexible, but this approach works especially well if you’re a module developer using git submodules for each of your module subdirectories. And each module really should be its own git repository:

  • people don’t need to pull everything in just to work on a single module;
  • makes it possible to use git submodules for [Rstudio] projects;
  • easy to setup additional SpaDES module repositoriess.

However, note that you cannot nest a git repository inside another git repository. So if you are using git for your project directory, you cannot use SpaDES modules as repos inside that project directory (this is what git submodules are for). If git submodules aren’t your thing, then you will need to keep your project repo separate from your module repo!

modules/                # use this for your simulation modulePath
  |_  module1/
  |_  module2/
  |_  module3/
  |_  module4/
  |_  module5/

myProject/
  |_  cache/            # use this for your simulation cachePath
  |_  inputs/           # use this for your simulation inputPath
  |_  manuscripts/
  |_  outputs/          # use this for your simulation outputPath
  ...

Alternatively, your myProject/ directory could be a subdirectory of modules/.

modules/                # use this for your simulation modulePath
  |_  module1/
  |_  module2/
  |_  module3/
  |_  module4/
  |_  module5/
  |_  myProject/
    |_  cache/          # use this for your simulation cachePath
    |_  inputs/         # use this for your simulation inputPath
    |_  manuscripts/
    |_  outputs/        # use this for your simulation outputPath
  ...

These allow you to have each module and project be a git repository, and if you’re worried about storage space it ensures you only keep one copy of a module no matter how many projects it’s used with. However, the drawback is that it’s inconsistent with the way Rstudio projects work, because not all project-related files are in the same directory. This means you need to take extra care to ensure that you set your module path using a relative file path (e.g., ../modules), and you’ll need to take even more care to update this path if you move the modules/ directory or are sharing your project code (because your collaborator may store their modules in a different location).

In the end, which approach you use will depend on your level of git-savviness (and that of your collaborators), and how comfortable you are using git submodules.