[Rd] RFC install.packages() changes

From: Prof Brian Ripley <ripley_at_stats.ox.ac.uk>
Date: Mon 08 Nov 2004 - 05:22:47 EST

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

  1. delete the downloaded files at the end of install.packages or
  2. 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)?

2) ?packageStatus says

     Summarize information about installed packages and packages
     available at various repositories, and automatically upgrade
     outdated packages. These tools will replace 'update.packages' and
     friends in the future and are currently work in progress.

but `progress' seems to have been at a halt for a long time. The one feature I use it for is finding non-installed packages, and we could easily add a function non_installed.packages() and an option to install.packages() to add (selectively) uninstalled packages (and a stop list might be useful, so you do not get repeatedly asked about packages which fail).

Do people use it, and if so for what purposes and what improvements would they like? (I am thinking of, e.g, ways to extract parts of the output.)

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 Mon Nov 08 05:28:45 2004

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