RE: [Rd] RFC install.packages() changes

From: Liaw, Andy <andy_liaw_at_merck.com>
Date: Mon 08 Nov 2004 - 07:27:57 EST


> From: Prof Brian Ripley
>
> On Sun, 7 Nov 2004, Kjetil Brinchmann Halvorsen wrote:
>
> > Prof Brian Ripley wrote:
> >
> > >install/update.packages() in R-devel has been enhanced in
> a few ways,
> > >notably to handle multiple repositories, and to allow
> packages to be
> > >reinstalled under the current version of R.
> > >
> > >1) Currently they will ask if you want to delete the
> downloaded files (if
> > >any) *provided* destdir was not specified. In that case it uses a
> > >subdirectory of the per-session temporary directory, so
> the files will be
> > >deleted at the end of the R session anyway.
> > >
> > >We had a request to make the questioning optional. I
> propose to remove it
> > >altogether, and either
> > >
> > >a) delete the downloaded files at the end of install.packages or
> > >b) leave them in the per-session directory to be deleted
> at the end of the
> > >session.
> > >
> > >that is to force answer 'y' or 'n' respectively. Does
> anyone see any
> > >problems with a)?
> > >
> > >
> > >
> > I would prefer b), as I am downloading from the Rgui menu
> and then moves
> > downloaded packages
> > to a c:\download... area which I use to burn CD-roms I
> distribute to
> > many people. If a) is choosen I guess
> > I could learn to use it from the command line, though. What is the
> > problem with b)?
>
> Potentially leaving 1Gb or so of files in a temporary directory. So
> probably no big deal.

My personal preference would be a). Kjetil's usage seems like a bit of an abuse, and one should be able to write something that does that specific task (e.g., modify update.packages() to something called download.packages()), rather than relying on a function in R that's meant for something else.

One thing that concerns me a bit (I haven't check whether the concern is warranted) is package dependency: If the new version of a package on CRAN requires, e.g., a newer version of R than what the user has, what happens then?

Andy  

> Brian
>
> --
> Brian D. Ripley, ripley@stats.ox.ac.uk
> Professor of Applied Statistics, http://www.stats.ox.ac.uk/~ripley/
> University of Oxford, Tel: +44 1865 272861 (self)
> 1 South Parks Road, +44 1865 272866 (PA)
> Oxford OX1 3TG, UK Fax: +44 1865 272595
>
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https://stat.ethz.ch/mailman/listinfo/r-devel Received on Mon Nov 08 07:39:58 2004

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