[R] CDs for R?

Jari Oksanen jari.oksanen at oulu.fi
Wed Nov 17 07:25:54 CET 2004

On 16 Nov 2004, at 23:39, (Ted Harding) wrote:
> Some of us are on narrow bandwidth dialup connections,
> so downloading large quantities of stuff is out of the
> question (e.g. at approx. 5min/MB, it would take over
> 2 days to download a single CD). The meat of CRAN
> (including contributed packages and documentation)
> is enough to fill 5 CDs, though one individual probably
> wouldn't be interested in all of that.

5 CDs sounds 4 too many. I once burnt CDs for my students, and they 
fitted nicely in one CD (Windows binaries, all packages as Windows 
binaries and sources, contributed documents).  I guess you can fit 
Windows, Mac and some Linux binaries all in one CD.

Now comes my suggestion to CRAN maintainer: this all would be easier, 
if you would produce a CD image file ('iso') that would contain a 
snapshot of the latest version: main binaries, all contributed 
packages, and docs. Getting somebody to help downloading this iso would 
be much easier than trying to collect all first and then make up your 
own cd image.

Actually, only Windows and Mac users need binary versions of packages. 
The former because they don't have tools to install from source, the 
latter because they don't know that they have the tools (being command 
line challenged).

To Dirk Eddelbuettel: Yes indeed, Ubuntu gives human face to Debian and 
is a much more pleasant experience. However, changing OS for R may be 
asking too much. Further, Ubuntu/Debian comes with a tiny and biased 
selection of packages, and if that's not your kind of bias, you have 
got to go to the Internet again. Further, Ubuntu (and other Linuxes) 
lag behind R. The current Ubuntu release comes with R 1.9.1, and it 
won't be upgraded but in the next release scheduled for April 2005 (and 
just in the same time as the next R, so that Ubuntu will be one R 
version off again). I guess the lag is even worse in packages.

cheers, jari oksanen
Jari Oksanen, Oulu, Finland

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