Re: [Rd] warning from install.packages()

From: Martin Maechler <>
Date: Thu, 03 Jun 2010 10:05:27 +0200

>>>>> "BB" == Ben Bolker <> >>>>> on Wed, 02 Jun 2010 13:45:18 -0400 writes:

    BB> Michael Dewey wrote:
>> At 13:40 01/06/2010, Ben Bolker wrote:

    >>>> On 25/05/10 23:25 PM, "Ben Bolker" <bolker <at>> wrote:
    >>>> Just curious: is there a particular reason why install.packages()
    >>>> gives a warning in normal use when 'lib' is not specified (e.g. argument
    >>>> 'lib' is missing: using '/usr/local/lib/R/site-library' )?

>> As I see it R is saying 'I am doing what you told
>> me, but just in case I am checking whether that
>> was what you really wanted'. Note that you do not
>> get a warning if there was only one place R could
>> put it. I would certainly vote for a message if
>> people are getting unnecessarily alarmed by the warning.
    BB> But this seems so different from R's general philosophy/behavior
    BB> (inherited from Unix?) that a function that gets correct input and
    BB> executes without error returns silently ...

That's correct.
Note however that installing a package is not just a thing happening in your R session.
It will affect all your future R sessions, and possibly even other users' who have the same .libPaths()[1] {e.g. the group here does share it}.

I'd agree to not put a warning but I'd definitely want a message aka "note" to the user.
The *wording* of that note should not be alarming at all, I agree, just a note to the user.

Martin Maechler, ETH Zurich mailing list Received on Thu 03 Jun 2010 - 08:22:25 GMT

Archive maintained by Robert King, hosted by the discipline of statistics at the University of Newcastle, Australia.
Archive generated by hypermail 2.2.0, at Thu 03 Jun 2010 - 14:30:56 GMT.

Mailing list information is available at Please read the posting guide before posting to the list.

list of date sections of archive