[Rd] warning from install.packages()

Martin Maechler maechler at stat.math.ethz.ch
Thu Jun 3 10:05:27 CEST 2010

>>>>> "BB" == Ben Bolker <bolker at ufl.edu>
>>>>>     on Wed, 02 Jun 2010 13:45:18 -0400 writes:

    BB> Michael Dewey wrote:
    >> At 13:40 01/06/2010, Ben Bolker wrote:
    >>>> On 25/05/10 23:25 PM, "Ben Bolker" <bolker <at> ufl.edu> wrote:
    >>>> Just curious: is there a particular reason why install.packages()
    >>>> gives a warning in normal use when 'lib' is not specified (e.g. argument
    >>>> 'lib' is missing: using '/usr/local/lib/R/site-library' )?
    >> As I see it R is saying 'I am doing what you told 
    >> me, but just in case I am checking whether that 
    >> was what you really wanted'. Note that you do not 
    >> get a warning if there was only one place R could 
    >> put it. I would certainly vote for a message if 
    >> people are getting unnecessarily alarmed by the warning.

    BB> But this seems so different from R's general philosophy/behavior
    BB> (inherited from Unix?) that a function that gets correct input and
    BB> executes without error returns silently ...

That's correct.
Note however that installing a package is not just a thing
happening in your R session.
It will affect all your future R sessions, and possibly even
other users' who have the same  .libPaths()[1]
{e.g. the group here does share it}.

I'd agree to not put a warning but I'd definitely want a message
aka "note" to the user.
The *wording* of that note should not be alarming at all, I
agree, just a note to the user.

Martin Maechler, ETH Zurich

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