RE: [Rd] having trouble building r-devel

From: <>
Date: Wed 08 Sep 2004 - 16:24:19 EST

Hi Duncan

Thanks but... that doesn't seem to be it. I've upgraded Perl to 5.8 and the problem is still there.

The error seems to be this: the "make" operation in R2.0.0 wants to use the *just-built* R.exe in the search path when it gets to the "Making package base" stage. But unless the user has modified their search path to include R-DEVEL\BIN before calling "make" (and made sure this comes before any other R BIN directories), the R.exe won't be found (on my Windows 2000 machine, anyway). I encountered the following:

When I set PATH to start with C:\R\R-devel\bin, "make" works OK.

When I leave PATH at its usual value that starts with C:\R\R-1.9.0\bin, "make" gives me this:

When I rename C:\R\R-1.9.0 so that there's no copy of R.exe in the PATH, "make" gave me this:

When I set PATH to start with a dot (looking at the INSTALL file section on "Check your path"), "make" fails again with the ".install_package_description" error.

So it looks like either (i) the documentation should be changed to tell the user to reset the path manually (and NB the dot isn't useful for Windows 2000), or preferably (ii) "make" needs to temporarily change the search path, or to look more explicitly for the new R.exe file. Or I've gotten my wires crossed...


Mark Bravington
PO Box 1538
Castray Esplanade
TAS 7001 phone (61) 3 6232 5118
fax (61) 3 6232 5012

#-----Original Message-----
#From: Duncan Murdoch []
#Sent: Wednesday, 8 September 2004 12:25 PM
#To: Bravington, Mark (CMIS, Hobart)
#Subject: Re: [Rd] having trouble building r-devel
#On Wed, 8 Sep 2004 11:01:25 +1000, <> wrote:
#>Dear R-devel
#>On my Windows 2000 machine, I can build R-patched but not
#R-devel (since at least 1/9/2004). An error message pops up
#during the execution of some R code during "make", as below.
#In terms of "make" etc., I am totally clueless (not being a
#user of either Linux or C) and just mechanically follow the
#instructions in the R documentation; hence I've got no idea
#what to do when things snarf.
#>More information below. Any advice appreciated-- I'm trying
#to test a patch for R2.0.0.
#I haven't seen the error you report, but the general strategy on
#seeing a make error is to "make distclean", and try again.
#If that doesn't work, it might be worth checking your Perl version: R
#2.0.0 seems to need 5.8.x. Previously this was just recommended, and
#I ran on 5.6.x until very recently. I thought I had updated the
#Rtools page ( to say this, but
#looking just now shows the old page...
#Duncan Murdoch
# mailing list Received on Wed Sep 08 16:28:28 2004

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