[Rd] The install.R and R_PROFILE.R files

From: Prof Brian Ripley <ripley_at_stats.ox.ac.uk>
Date: Wed 01 Feb 2006 - 08:35:05 GMT


R-exts says

   Both install.R and R_PROFILE.R should be viewed as experimental; the    mechanism to execute code before attaching or installing the package may    change in the near future. With the other facilities available as from R    2.0.0 they should be removed if possible.

Every usage of these on CRAN is unnecessary. If you want to save the image, say so in the SaveImage field in DESCRIPTION (but why not LazyLoad instead?). If you require methods, say so in Depends in DESCRIPTION.

I propose that we deprecate/remove this mechanism (as it makes installation a lot convoluted than it needs to be). Does any one know of

(a) A usage that requires one of these files to do something which cannot now be done more simply via fields in DESCRIPTION, or

(b) A package that requires a saved image (and lazy loading is insufficient)?

If so, please let us know.

I am also minded to deprecate/remove the following command-line flags to INSTALL

   -s, --save[=ARGS]     save the package source as an image file, and
                         arrange for this file to be loaded when the
                         package is attached; if given, ARGS are passed
                         to R when creating the save image

--no-save do not save the package source as an image file
--lazy use lazy loading
--no-lazy do not use lazy loading
--lazy-data use lazy loading for data
--no-lazy-data do not use lazy loading for data (current default)

since these have been superseded by the DESCRIPTION fields (and Windows does not support --save=ARGS).

-- 
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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Received on Wed Feb 01 19:46:22 2006

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