[R] CDs for R?

Stuart Leask stuart.leask at nottingham.ac.uk
Wed Nov 17 10:05:48 CET 2004

I note similar discussions re. 'linux live' distributions, and another key
point made there is that, with a moving target (ie. several significant
upgrades a year), one shouldn't contribute to the vast mountain of landfill
CDRs already represent.

Which makes me wonder about changing the model a bit ie. folks who want it
on CD send a CDRW or USB key with a stamped, self-addressed enveloped to
somewhere (central, or the 'buddy list' already suggested) where the
requested files will be burnt on. The 'cost' of burning these could be seen
as one consequence of the GPL!

That way, most of the 'manufacture & distribution' costs stay where they
should ie. with the person who wants the CD, and we aren't generating more
rapidly-useless CDs...


----- Original Message ----- 
From: "Jari Oksanen" <jari.oksanen at oulu.fi>
To: <ted.harding at nessie.mcc.ac.uk>
Cc: <r-help at stat.math.ethz.ch>
Sent: Wednesday, November 17, 2004 6:25 AM
Subject: Re: [R] CDs for R?

> 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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