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

Yihui Xie xie at yihui.name
Wed May 4 18:00:55 CEST 2011

My suggestion was to mimic *nix systems: put the executable binaries
in the same place *by default* (e.g. /usr/bin/ or /usr/local/bin). Why
isn't the default bin path for R under *nix something like
/usr/bin/R-2.13.0/? If the users want to install multiple versions,
they still have the choice to install them elsewhere. I'm not denying
the possible necessity of having multiple versions in a system. In my
opinion, the default values should be set according to probabilities:
is it more likely for a user to use multiple versions or a single
version of R? Of course, all of you are developers and the former
probability might be higher, but I don't think many users will run the
script A with R 2.12.1 and script B with R 2.13.0. The most typical
situation I have seen is, (Windows) people install R and will forget
to update it forever. I often have to urge our IT admin to update R in
our department from a version released long long ago. You may argue my
samples are not representative. Anyway, I can accept the default
version string if nobody agrees with me.

I do use Emacs every day. It's nice, I totally agree.

Yihui Xie <xieyihui at gmail.com>
Phone: 515-294-2465 Web: http://yihui.name
Department of Statistics, Iowa State University
2215 Snedecor Hall, Ames, IA

On Wed, May 4, 2011 at 2:02 AM, Martin Maechler
<maechler at stat.math.ethz.ch> wrote:
> Note to Yihui Xie:  I agree 100% with the other R core members
> (Duncan, Simon, Thomas) who already explained why it is *GOOD*
> to install R in version-named directories by default.
> BTW: If you use ESS (Emacs Speaks Statistics) on Windows,
> it now automatically(*) finds all versions of R
> (* well, less generally, probably than Gabor's batch files; IIRC,
>  we assume that the R versions were installed in the default place),
> and provides them, both the 32bit and 64bit versions, in the ESS
> menu, or via
>  M-x R- [Tab completion]
> Very nice, very useful in my eyes.
> Martin

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