[Rd] Re: [R] Creating a minimal package

Dirk Eddelbuettel edd at debian.org
Tue Jul 13 18:20:36 CEST 2004

On Tue, Jul 13, 2004 at 10:02:16AM -0400, Duncan Murdoch wrote:
> Yes, I think that's right.  Currently the roadblocks are:
>  - Perl 
> I think we could write around this.

Is that worth it?  ActiveState Perl is easy to install. 
>  - Microsoft Help Compiler
> Users who don't have it could do without CHM help files.

I built local packages for years, and only added this tool fairly recently
(mostly to suppress the error/warning during build).  As I don't use html
help, I obviously didn't care much.  

Non-issue in my biased book, but I acknowledge that this is probably a
minority view. That said, this is likely to be non-redistributable, so a
case could be made that as a user needs to download this anyway, how much
harder is it to download the free-as-in-beer Perl?
>  - Lots of Cygwin (and other) tools involved in making packages.
> We could possibly rewrite the build process in R, but I don't think we
> should.  I think a better solution would be to distribute the toolset
> with R.  The full toolset doesn't add up to much (maybe 1.5 M).  A

Neat idea. I like that a lot. I can see how some users would have Perl and
Cygwin, and even MinGW, anyway, but not the BDR tools collection. This helps.

> problem is that multiple Cygwin versions don't coexist nicely, so we'd
> have to be careful during installation.
>  - MinGW gcc
> Users who want to compile code would still have to install the
> compiler.

And that's where it gets hairy. So we do all this to let lusers build R-only
packages, but not compiled packages?  Isn't that both a little inconsistent
and confusing?

But we could rewrite MinGW gcc in R too.


PS Yes, I am of course joking w.r.t. MinGW

Those are my principles, and if you don't like them... well, I have others.
                                                -- Groucho Marx

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