[R] One more for the wish list

Prof Brian D Ripley ripley at stats.ox.ac.uk
Tue Apr 6 19:49:44 CEST 1999

On Tue, 6 Apr 1999, Kurt Hornik wrote:

> >>>>> Simon Fear writes:
> > Having just upgraded to 063.3 reminds me of a wish I have had for a
> > long time. Could we not have libraries (sorry, packages) other than
> > for the base distribution in a subdirectory [Rpath]/library/local/ or
> > perhaps /library/packages.
> > This tiny change would make administration so much simpler; I could
> > move all the old packages into the new library in one fell
> > swoop. Granted it's not hopelessly difficult to copy new onto old with
> > overwriting and then move the old to the new, but with a system that
> > looks set to continue to need frequent upgrades it would be really
> > nice not to have to do all this.
> > Plus it does make generally good sense to keep add-ons separate from a
> > base package.
> > Same in Splus of course but I've given up on that.
> There is an ongoing democratic decision-making process about this.  What
> I want to have is
> 	R_HOME/R_VERSION/library/
> 	R_HOME/site/...
> 	R_HOME/site/library/
> I might add this soon after 0.64 is out ...

But for now you can achieve what Simon wants easily. Just set RLIBS (in one
of many ways) or (for the brave) .lib.loc in your .Rprofile.  I have all my
R packages in /ext/R/library, for example, used by all the four versions of
R running here. I have

.lib.loc <- c("/ext/R/library", .Library)

in my .Rprofile, but Kurt says don't try that at home.

With S-PLUS you just set lib.loc in frame 0 in your or the startup script.

One little snag: what you need installed in a library changes from time to
time, including at 0.64.

BTW: I do use library correctly here: R packages are installed as subdirs
of a library as I understand it. (Those subdirs are `sections' in S
parlance and I think `packages' in R parlance. I'd vote for `shelves'


Brian D. Ripley,                  ripley at stats.ox.ac.uk
Professor of Applied Statistics,  http://www.stats.ox.ac.uk/~ripley/
University of Oxford,             Tel:  +44 1865 272861 (self)
1 South Parks Road,                     +44 1865 272860 (secr)
Oxford OX1 3TG, UK                Fax:  +44 1865 272595

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