[Rd] Bug in Make or configure: spaces in path (PR#7068)

Kurt Hornik Kurt.Hornik at wu-wien.ac.at
Thu Jul 8 15:58:41 CEST 2004

>>>>> maechler  writes:

>>>>> "williams" == williams elliot <williams.elliot at bls.gov>
>>>>>     on Thu,  8 Jul 2004 01:50:16 +0200 (CEST) writes:

williams> Full_Name: Elliot Williams Version: 1.9.1 OS:
williams> Linux Submission from: (NULL) (

williams> Hi,

williams> The usual configure/make procedure hangs when
williams> there is a space in the pathname.

williams> For instance, I had R in "/home/elliot/R
williams> Software/R-1.9.1/" and make complained that it
williams> couldn't find "Software/R-1.9.1/".  Changing the
williams> directory to R_Software resolved the problem.

williams> This is a small problem, but it might bite new
williams> linux users who like to use spaces in directory
williams> names and don't know that it can cause troubles.

> Hmm, I think these new users should rather learn that it
> probably *will* cause much too much trouble and stop using
> spaces in file names....  {well, I can hear some people scream,
> but that's my humble opinion}.

williams> Note that this is similar to a bug about commas in
williams> filepaths, number 5536.  I do not, however, expect
williams> the earth.  :-)

> I'm waiting for others to comment, but I wouldn't consider this a
> bug. Just don't use "crazy" directory names ("," or non-ASCII
> accents..) since this will bite you eventually anyway (i.e. not only
> with R), e.g. using an accented char, or Umlaut and moving your
> directory tree to a locale where these characters are not valid or at
> least not displayed usually.

Formally, we could claim it is not a bug if it was clearly stated in
some place (R-admin?) to be the "official" behavior.

I had a brief look: the first problem is

	$(MAKE) rhome=`cd $(top_builddir); pwd` install-bin

and it should not be too hard to change this to something like

	$(MAKE) rhome="`cd \"$(top_builddir)\"; pwd`" install-bin

(or start propagating abs_top_builddir which I think Autoconf would have
given us for a few years now).

I think R mostly runs even if R_HOME has a path with spaces, so why
shouldn't we be able to build in a dir whose path has spaces?

Of course, using double quotes in file paths is another story ...


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