[R] Installing Task Views

From: Mark Andersen <manderse_at_nmsu.edu>
Date: Sat 07 Jan 2006 - 11:30:03 EST


I am just beginning to use R, after several years of using S-Plus (with mixed success). I saw a recommendation on another mailing list for the Environmetrics and Spatial Task Views, as a good way for a new user to get started actually using R. The Task Views page at CRAN says:

"To automatically install these views, the ctv package needs to be installed, e.g., via
install.packages("ctv")and then the views can be installed via install.views (after loading ctv), e.g.,

I have installed "ctv" and I'm assuming that "loading ctv" means entering  


If I then enter  

> install.views("Environmetrics")

I get the error message  

"Warning message:

CRAN task view Environmetrics not available in: install.views("Environmetrics")"

If I then go up to the Packages menu and Set CRAN Mirror to, for example, USA (CA 2) and again enter

> install.views("Environmetrics")

I now get the error message

"Error in install.packages(pkgs, CRAN = views[[i]]$repository, dependencies = dependencies, :

        unused argument(s) (CRAN ...)"  

Entering "CRAN.views" in the R GUI does indeed give a complete list of task view names, topics, maintainers, and repositories. Selecting different CRAN mirrors produces the same error messages as above, as does attempting to install a different task view.  

I have searched the R-help mailing list archive and found several postings announcing the availability of task views, but not on how to install them. I have searched the pdf manuals, and found no instances of "task view". I have also searched the FAQs. The help for "install.views" basically repeats the information on the CRAN site, providing information on using the function, but not on actually installing task views. The example in the article on task views in the May 2005 issue of R News uses the "lib = " argument, which is not mentioned in the help for "install.views". It appears that the instructions at CRAN for installing task views are missing at least one step. Can anyone point me to a reliable set of instructions for installing (not to mention actually using) a task view? Many thanks in advance.  


Mark C. Andersen  

Dr. Mark C. Andersen

Associate Professor

Department of Fishery and Wildlife Sciences

New Mexico State University

Las Cruces NM 88003-0003

phone: 505-646-8034

fax: 505-646-1281  

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