[R] smoothest way to upgrade R, say from 2.6.1 to 2.6.2?

From: Galkowski, Jan <jgalkows_at_akamai.com>
Date: Thu, 13 Mar 2008 13:05:15 -0400

Like many software assemblies, R is updated frequently. Also, it creates its own release-numbered directory when it is installed. Packages get dumped into the subdirectory "library". I have a personal habit of storing documents related to R packages in the "doc" subdirectory.

Here are my questions.

(1) How do people manage an upgrade, from 2.6.1, say, to 2.6.2? 2.6.2
will create its own subdirectory, obliging a copy of library contents to the new spot. The documents are easier.

(2) The problem with simply copying library contents is a fear of upward
incompatibilities. Am I worrying for naught here? Are packages upward
compatible but possibly not downwardly so?

(3) What about changing shortcuts, places for .Rprofile and the like?
Do people have scripts that do all these things at once?

It would be nice to have a single control file where R binaries and libraries and the like could be specified. That way, all that would need to be done is edit one file with an uptick on a point release number, say, and things would be fine. I suggest this because R is so rich and deep that there may well be such a thing I just don't know about. Or there may be a way of arranging things so they are done this way.


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