[R] Modyfing PATH in Windows Installer for R

Gabor Grothendieck ggrothendieck at myway.com
Mon Dec 6 16:04:35 CET 2004

Duncan Murdoch <murdoch <at> stats.uwo.ca> writes:

: On Mon, 06 Dec 2004 14:43:46 +0100, Henrik Andersson
: <h.andersson <at> nioo.knaw.nl> wrote :
: >Just a small suggestion since Windows have a file system not designed 
: >for command line use...
: Hmm?  I'm not sure what you mean by that.  As far as the command line
: is concerned, Windows and Unix file systems are pretty similar.
: >Would it be possible to add the possibility of automatically 
: >adding/modifying the path to the R executables in the windows installer 
: >program?
: You mean modifying the PATH environment variable?  I think it would be
: possible to do this, but I don't think it's a good idea:
:  - Users who use a command line interface probably know how to do this
: themselves, and others don't need it.
:  - Users who use a command line interface use a large variety of
: different mechanisms to set their path, and it would be hard for the R
: installer to do anything helpful and not harmful to automatically
: change what they've done.
: For example, I set my path in F:/cygwin/etc/profile, but I may be the
: only R user who uses that particular file...

I have another suggestion.  If Rgui.exe and the other R exe's were to
check if they were in the R tree and if not look up the location in
the registry then one could just copy their Rgui.exe and other R .exe
files to any folder in their path.

This would be much less intrusive since it does not involve modifying
any system variables.  If the user does not copy them it works like it
does now.  If the user does copy them then its up to the user to be
sure that they installed R with the registry key option on which seems

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