Re: [Rd] Rtools questions

From: Gabor Grothendieck <>
Date: Sun, 10 Apr 2011 09:26:27 -0400

On Sat, Apr 9, 2011 at 4:40 PM, Duncan Murdoch <> wrote:

> On 11-04-06 2:45 PM, Henrik Bengtsson wrote:

>> On Wed, Apr 6, 2011 at 4:54 AM, Duncan Murdoch<>
>>  wrote:
>>> On 11-04-05 7:51 PM, Henrik Bengtsson wrote:
>>>> On Tue, Apr 5, 2011 at 3:44 PM, Duncan Murdoch<>
>>>>  wrote:
>>>>> On 11-04-05 6:22 PM, Spencer Graves wrote:
>>>>>> Hello:
>>>>>>         1.  How can I tell when the development version of Rtools has
>>>>>> changed?
>>>>> I don't make announcements of the changes, you just need to check the
>>>>> web
>>>>> site.  There are online tools that can do this for you automatically,
>>>>> but
>>>>> I
>>>>> don't know which one to recommend.  Google suggests lots of them.
>>>> I also asked myself this before and I must admit it took me a while to
>>>> interpret the contents of the webpage.  There are multiple sections,
>>>> e.g. 'Changes since R 2.12.2', 'Changes since R 2.11.1', 'Changes
>>>> since R 2.11.0', and so on.  Then within each section there are some
>>>> dates mentioned.  Given my current R version (say R 2.13.0 beta) and
>>>> Rtools (Rtools213.exe), it not fully clear to me which section to look
>>>> at, e.g. 'Changes since R 2.12.2'?
>>> Well, that depends on when you downloaded it.  I use the R version
>>> releases
>>> as bookmarks.  If you last downloaded Rtools after the release of R
>>> 2.12.2,
>>> then you only need to look at the last section.
>>> The problem with collecting changes into those that apply to each Rtools
>>> version is just that the change lists would be longer:  Rtools212 will
>>> get
>>> changes through several R releases.  When there are compiler changes,
>>> RtoolsXYZ generally comes out during the previous R version, because the
>>> compiler may only work with the R-devel version.  For instance, Rtools212
>>> was introduced between R 2.11.0 and 2.11.1 and was updated a number of
>>> times
>>> up to quite recently.  (It is now frozen, so if you download it now and
>>> are
>>> working with the R versions it supports you never need to worry about
>>> updates to it.)
>> I understand, and I suspected this was the reason too.
>>> However, if you want to reformat the page, go ahead, and send me the new
>>> version.  It's a hand edited HTML page so I'd be happy to incorporate
>>> changes that make it more readable, as long as it's still easy to edit by
>>> hand.
>>> Gabor asked how to know which version was downloaded.  If you have the
>>> installer file you can tell:  right click on it, choose Properties, look
>>> at
>>> the Version tab.  If you didn't keep the installer, I don't know a way to
>>> find out, but it might be recorded in the unins000.dat file that the
>>> uninstaller uses.  Of course, without downloading the new one you can't
>>> find
>>> out its version:  so back to my original suggestion to monitor changes to
>>> the web page.  I'll see if there's a way to automatically include the
>>> revision number in the filename.
>> This is useful - I didn't know about this version number of InnoSetup.
>>  I've browsed the online InnoSetup help, but I couldn't locate what
>> the version parameter is called.  With it, would it be possible to use
>> a [Code] block having InnoSetup write the version number to a VERSION
>> file in the Rtools installation directory?  That would make it
>> possible to compare what's online and what's installed.
>> Another alternative for figuring out if Rtools have changed would be
>> to compare the timestamp of the installed Rtools directory (because
>> you typically install immediately after download) and the
>> Rtools213.exe timestamp on the web server.  This could be achieved by
>> moving the files to, say,
>> and enable indexing
>> of files in that directory.
>> Either way, know about the version number is certainly good enough for
>> me.  After installing Rtools, I can simply put the installer file in
>> the Rtools directory to allow me to compare to it later. (I kind of
>> did this before by comparing file sizes.)
> I've just uploaded a small change:  now Rtools.txt records the version
> number (and if I remember to update it, you can download only that file to
> see if you are up to date).  There's also a VERSION.txt file that contains
> the version number, which is likely to maintain its format more
> consistently, so if you want an automatic check, you should look at that
> file.  It's also on the web site.

Thanks. I have added a batch file to the batchfiles distribution ( which locates Rtools and then displays VERSION.txt . If placed on the Windows PATH then issuing this command from the Windows console with no arguments will display the VERSION.txt file:


A direct link is to the file is here:

It finds Rtools from the registry or if not found there looks in C:\Rtools .

Statistics & Software Consulting
GKX Group, GKX Associates Inc.
tel: 1-877-GKX-GROUP
email: ggrothendieck at

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