[R] I am surprised (and a little irritated)

From: Tom Backer Johnsen <backer_at_psych.uib.no>
Date: Thu 20 Apr 2006 - 05:05:22 EST

I have started with using R on Windows, and I am really happy about the system. Now, one of my other ambitions is to learn how to use Linux, so yesterday I downloaded OpenSuse and installed that. The next problem was to try to use R with Linux. And there I met the wall. I've understood that RPM's are somewhat like installing programs on Windows, so that was downloaded and started with YAST.

And got some error messages about missing stuff. The first reactions is surprise -- there must be an error in the installation procedure. I have never (well, almost) met an installation procedure on Windows that did not include everything needed. And the installation of R on Windows was very smooth. Then I discover to my big surprise that the readme file says that I need to have eight installed packages. Then it says "Most of them are included in a standard install". Sigh. Then the problem next is to find out which of the eight I already have and which ones I need to locate somewhere. Where can I find them I wonder. Somewhere on the net? And that is how far I got today.

So, one of the complaints I have is that the instructions for installing R on Linux are very cryptic, and to a large extent assume that you already know Linux. Which I do not. And I expect instructions on installing should be simple and clear. But I am a very experienced computer user, so I really expect to be able to understand instructions. I cannot expect my students to manage what I cannot manage myself, so Linux is out, or at least Suse Linux. And that is a pity, for a number of reasons.

The second is just as much surprise at the installation procedure. Under Windows there are any number of installers which make it easy for a programmer to put together all the files needed and place them in the right place.

And simeone should get the OpenSuse people to include R in the installation.



| Tom Backer Johnsen, Psychometrics Unit, Faculty of Psychology |
| University of Bergen, Christies gt. 12, N-5015 Bergen, NORWAY |
| Tel : +47-5558-9185 Fax : +47-5558-9879 |
| Email : backer_at_psych.uib.no URL : http://www.galton.uib.no/ |

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