Re: [Rd] Detecting development environment

From: Ted Byers <>
Date: Mon, 13 Jun 2011 10:56:37 -0400

One option would be to use autoconf and automake, and related tools. That is exactly what they're designed for, in the simplest case. In more advanced cases, I have seen them used to verify not only the existance of selected tools and libraries, but also whether or not the implementation of selected functions is buggy (as you may be aware, some implementations of the standard C library leave a bit to be desired, at least for some functions). But you do have a little work to do to write some of the input files they need; and you can make them flexible in terms of supporting telling them were certain resources are located. That said, the documentation for them is pretty good relative to the norm for unix like platforms.

As for being cross platform, I know they're available (or can be built) for unix like platforms, and on Windows via cygwin (which I suppose counts as unix-like). I don't know about other platforms, and I don't know if you can get them to work on Windows without cygwin (maybe as an addition to RTools?).

As for being "straight-forward", I had directed a student to begin studying autoconf/automake upon finishing a study of Gnu make, and the first day he did so, he met with success and asked me, " was it supposed to be this straightforward?" This, from a guy that has only begun studying programming! BTW: he told me he planned to study R once he had mastered C++ and QuantLib. He has a strong interest in quantitative finance, and so would be looking at those R packages related to quantitative finance.

I suppose whether or not it is 100% depends on the quality of inputs you provide.


> -----Original Message-----
> From: [mailto:r-devel-bounces_at_r-
>] On Behalf Of Hadley Wickham
> Sent: June-13-11 10:21 AM
> To:
> Subject: [Rd] Detecting development environment
> Hi all,
> Is there a straight-forward, cross-platform way of determining if a user
has all
> the tools needed to develop R packages (i.e. gcc etc)?
> It doesn't need to be 100%, but should give a rough idea. One idea I had
> simply to see if system("R CMD install --help") worked.
> Hadley
> --
> Assistant Professor / Dobelman Family Junior Chair Department of
Statistics /
> Rice University
> ______________________________________________
> mailing list
> mailing list Received on Mon 13 Jun 2011 - 15:00:09 GMT

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