[Rd] Change of compiler for Windows build of R

From: Prof Brian Ripley <ripley_at_stats.ox.ac.uk>
Date: Tue, 14 Aug 2007 07:52:28 +0100 (BST)

The MinGW people have finally released a couple of builds of gcc 4.2.1 (and finally moved the build of 3.4.5 to release status after 19 months as 'candidate').

We intend to use gcc 4.2.1 for the binary distribution of R 2.6.0, and builds of R-devel are being made with it from now on. The R-admin manual now contains details of the pieces you need, and in due course there will be an updated Rtools.exe containing this version. I've successfully built cross-compilers although am unlikely to distribute one for a while.

gcc 4.2.1 is a better check of standards conformance, and you may see warnings in packages not present with gcc 3.4.5. All the CRAN packages have been checked, and this showed up some issues with packages which deviated markedly from the documented procedures. E.g.

So far we have seen no issues with mixing code compiled with gcc 3.4.5 and 4.2.1. There would almost certainly be issues with third-party C++ libraries, and might be some with Fortran libraries that use complex numbers.

The advantages of using this port include:

R 2.5.1 will not build out of the box with these compilers, but R-patched will (for suitable settings in MkRules).

Brian D. Ripley,                  ripley_at_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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