Re: [Rd] Problems building R 2.9.0... on SGI and Sun once again

From: Atro Tossavainen <>
Date: Wed, 29 Apr 2009 12:55:44 +0300 (EEST)

(This is really in response to Peter Dalgaard, not to myself)

> This seems to come from constructions of the form
> for i in $FOO : do .... ; done
> If $FOO is empty, then the resulting "for i in ;" is a syntax error
> with some versions of bash and sh.

Given that one should generally be writing scripts for the Bourne shell, it is IMHO the case that "for i in ;" is a syntax error, period.

> Current Linux versions of bash do not have that behaviour.

...violating Bourne shell compatibility in yet another way...

> One workaround could be to upgrade bash.

If R is to be an application that is not specific to (recent distributions of) Linux, one should expect and code for systems that may not have bash at all but only the Bourne shell.

> Another workaround could be to safeguard the for-loop with
> test "$FOO" != "" && for i in $FOO : do .... ; done
> in all of the Makefiles where this can be an issue.

That is one of the possible ways in which R developers could, I suppose, address the issue.

Atro Tossavainen (Mr.)               / The Institute of Biotechnology at
Systems Analyst, Techno-Amish &     / the University of Helsinki, Finland,
+358-9-19158939  UNIX Dinosaur     / employs me, but my opinions are my own.
< URL : http : / / www . helsinki . fi / %7E atossava / > NO FILE ATTACHMENTS

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