[Rd] Error message library()

Simon Urbanek simon.urbanek at r-project.org
Wed Oct 26 18:34:54 CEST 2011

On Oct 26, 2011, at 6:49 AM, Milan Bouchet-Valat wrote:

> Le mercredi 26 octobre 2011 à 09:46 +0000, ONKELINX, Thierry a écrit :
>> Dear all,
>> When one tries to load a non-installed package you get the error: 
>> Error in library(xyz) : there is no package called 'xyz'
>> I noticed on several occasions that this puzzles beginners. Therefore
>> I suggest to change the error description in:
>> Error in library(xyz) : there is no package called 'xyz' installed on
>> this machine. Check the name of the package or use
>> install.packages("xyz") to install it.
> Couldn't R even directly ask for installing if it exists on CRAN? Like:
> Error in library(xyz) : package 'xyz' is not installed on this machine.
> Do you want to install it? [Y/n]

Please, no! We don't want to enter the realm of the computer assuming it knows what you want to do (which is becoming too common nowadays, unfortunately, making the interaction more and more annoying). For some users this error simply means that they mistyped the package name, so fetching CRAN repos on that behalf ranges somewhere between overkill and stupidity. If the user can't type install.packages() then I am certainly not confident that the user can use R for any reasonable data analysis.


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