[Rd] RFC install.packages() changes

Kjetil Brinchmann Halvorsen kjetil at acelerate.com
Sun Nov 7 19:52:59 CET 2004

Prof Brian Ripley wrote:

>install/update.packages() in R-devel has been enhanced in a few ways,
>notably to handle multiple repositories, and to allow packages to be 
>reinstalled under the current version of R.
>1) Currently they will ask if you want to delete the downloaded files (if 
>any) *provided* destdir was not specified.  In that case it uses a 
>subdirectory of the per-session temporary directory, so the files will be 
>deleted at the end of the R session anyway.
>We had a request to make the questioning optional.  I propose to remove it 
>altogether, and either
>a) delete the downloaded files at the end of install.packages or
>b) leave them in the per-session directory to be deleted at the end of the 
>that is to force answer 'y' or 'n' respectively.  Does anyone see any 
>problems with a)?
I would prefer b), as I am downloading from the Rgui menu and then moves 
downloaded packages
to a c:\download... area which I use to burn CD-roms I distribute to 
many people. If  a) is choosen I guess
I could learn to use it from the command line, though. What is the 
problem with b)?


>2) ?packageStatus says
>     Summarize information about installed packages and packages
>     available at various repositories, and automatically upgrade
>     outdated packages. These tools will replace 'update.packages' and
>     friends in the future and are currently work in progress.
>but `progress' seems to have been at a halt for a long time.  The one
>feature I use it for is finding non-installed packages, and we could
>easily add a function non_installed.packages() and an option to
>install.packages() to add (selectively) uninstalled packages (and a stop
>list might be useful, so you do not get repeatedly asked about packages
>which fail).
>Do people use it, and if so for what purposes and what improvements would 
>they like?  (I am thinking of, e.g, ways to extract parts of the output.)


Kjetil Halvorsen.

Peace is the most effective weapon of mass construction.
               --  Mahdi Elmandjra

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