RE: [Rd] Re: [R] case-insensitive ZIP

From: Primer, Jeremy (FID) <>
Date: Wed 03 Nov 2004 - 02:17:21 EST

Uwe and Brian,

Thanks for your attention to this one.

We currently have the following array of atypical situations in our corporate installation:

(1) Central install directory, where I neither have nor can reasonably want Administrator priviledges;
(2) IT staff willing to maintain R officially but wants to leave *contributed* packages to user groups if at all possible; (3) Direct access from R to the CRAN not working through any of the methods owing to the proxy server.

So I downloaded some 40 contributed package *.ZIP files directly from CRAN using Internet Explorer, then ran install.packages() in R on these local zipfiles with parameter CRAN=NULL. Except for the case-sensitivity of the "*.zip" extension in install.packages(), which I amended myself, this appears to have worked fine, passed checksums, etc. Since I installed the packages with install.packages() and they passed checksum, I don't see why they would not work. Some simple tests worked, and setting libPaths() and running installed.packages() suggests that R knows what it has.

I can continue on fine as is, so the remaining question is whether install.packages() should be amended for other users. I felt it did not fulfill its contract in a basic way. However, I did enjoy learning about R debug facilities, something I'll need to know ....

Jeremy Primer  

-----Original Message-----
From: Prof Brian Ripley [] Sent: Tuesday, November 02, 2004 3:45 AM To: Uwe Ligges
Cc: Primer, Jeremy (FID); R-devel
Subject: Re: [Rd] Re: [R] case-insensitive ZIP

On Tue, 2 Nov 2004, Uwe Ligges wrote:

> Primer, Jeremy (FID) wrote:
> > A development note:
> >
> > In the function "install.packages", it would be helpful to those of
> > us who have atypical installations and install manually from ZIP
> > files to

Perhaps you could tell us why you do this? Where do you get `contributed zipfiles' that are actually `ZIPfiles', especially as CRAN has .zip files you could get instead? Or is the problem in the way you get them?

> > have
> >
> > pkgnames <- sub("\\.zip$", "", pkgnames)
> >
> > replaced with
> >
> > pkgnames <- sub("\\.zip$", "", pkgnames, = TRUE)
> >
> > because the contributed zipfiles are ZIPfiles. The routine did not
> > work for me out of the box.
> [moved to R-devel]
> Hmmm. Recent versions of R require correctly installed versions (using

> R CMD INSTALL) of the packages. It is hard work to get a file called
> *.ZIP (rather than *.zip) that contains a valid binary package for
> I'd vote against such a change, since the recent behaviour suggests
> perfectly well that the file probably won't work.

Nothing stops people with `atypical installations' amending functions to suit their atypicality, but it is usually better to fix your local problems that expect your tools to workaround them.

[Analogously, R CMD INSTALL will not install .tgz files on Unix, even though some people distribute them: they are (equally) not a supported format.]

Brian D. Ripley,        
Professor of Applied Statistics,
University of Oxford,             Tel:  +44 1865 272861 (self)
1 South Parks Road,                     +44 1865 272866 (PA)
Oxford OX1 3TG, UK                Fax:  +44 1865 272595 
This is not an offer (or solicitation of an offer) to buy/se...{{dropped}}

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