[Bioc-devel] biocLite should warn when called from a non-current R version

Wolfgang Huber whuber at embl.de
Thu Jun 20 17:21:57 CEST 2013

there is benefit in having newest versions, but I think we shouldn't get carried away, and find Martin's suggestion reasonable. I don't want to be told to go get an iPhone 5 every time I update an app on my iPhone 4 - even if that same app would work much better there. People may have legitimate reasons to run an 'old' R, and we are not the version police.

Simon, I very much sympathise with your frustration about thoughtless or ignorant user questions, and I suppose you hope that this proposed change will provide a quick fix. I would have said something different above if I shared that hope, but I am not sure it would make much difference to them in practice: many would not follow that message even it were in ALL CAPS ALL ACROSS THEIR SCREEN. And at the same time shouting at people who know what they're doing is not a desirable approach.

	Best wishes
On Jun 20, 2013, at 9:03 am, Simon Anders <anders at embl.de> wrote:

> Hi Martin
> good to see that Herve agrees with me, and I reiterate my point, because I consider this issue very important.
> The average user does _not_ expect that a function like 'biocLite', which has the express purpose of downloading and installing packages, does not pull the newest package. I know that to you, as an an experienced Bioc person, this has become second nature, but believe me: It is unusual and very surprising for anybody used to other systems.
> The message hence has to very clearly and unambiguously state the following fact: "The biocLite function will NOT install the most recent released versions of Bioconductor packages."
> I insist that this should be mentioned in this direct manner. Your formulation may imply it to the careful reader but not to a user in a hurry. Merely mentioning that there are newer versions will _not_ bring across the point that calling the biocLite installation script will not install these!
> I really do not see the problem with saying clearly that biocLite will not pull the newest version. Is this something we are ashamed of and don't want to admit straight out?
> And I frankly see no need to warn users already in this message that updates can break existing workflows. Everybody who has ever used any software knows this.
>  Simon
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