[Rd] Wishlist: write R's bin path to the PATH variable and remove the version string in the installation dir under Windows

Thomas Lumley tlumley at uw.edu
Wed May 4 07:26:54 CEST 2011

On Wed, May 4, 2011 at 3:25 PM, Yihui Xie <xie at yihui.name> wrote:
> 1. "Few Windows users use these commands" does not imply they are not
> useful, and I have no idea how many Windows users really use them. How
> do you run "R CMD build" when you build R packages under Windows? You
> don't write "C:/Program Files/R/R-2.13.0/bin/i386/R.exe CMD build", do
> you?
> I think the reason we have to mess with the PATH variable for each
> single software package is that Windows is Not Unix, so you may hate
> Windows instead of a package that modifies your PATH variable.
> For the choice of i386 and x64, you can let the user decide which bin
> path to use. I believe the number of users who frequently switch back
> and forth is fairly small.
> 2. Under most circumstances I just keep the latest version of R. To
> maintain R code with old R versions will be more and more difficult
> with new features and changes coming in. Disk space is cheap, but time
> is not.

I keep old versions for basically the same reasons you don't -- that
is, I have analyses that ran under the old versions, and I can be sure
they will give the same answer a year later if I keep the old
versions. This isn't so much because of changes in R as because of
changes in packages.


Thomas Lumley
Professor of Biostatistics
University of Auckland

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