[R] I am surprised (and a little irritated)

Baoqiang Cao caobg at email.uc.edu
Wed Apr 19 21:47:01 CEST 2006

FYI: Installing and runing R on Fedora Core 5, as I witnessed, could never be easier.

I have started with using R on Windows, and I am really happy about 
the system.  Now, one of my other ambitions is to learn how to use 
Linux, so yesterday I downloaded OpenSuse and installed that.  The 
next problem was to try to use R with Linux.  And there I met the 
wall.  I've understood that RPM's are somewhat like installing 
programs on Windows, so that was downloaded and started with YAST.

And got some error messages about missing stuff.  The first reactions 
is surprise -- there must be an error in the installation procedure. 
I have never (well, almost) met an installation procedure on Windows 
that did not include everything needed.  And the installation of R on 
Windows was very smooth.  Then I discover to my big surprise that the 
readme file says that I need to have eight installed packages.  Then 
it says "Most of them are included in a standard install".  Sigh. 
Then the problem next is to find out which of the eight I already have 
and which ones I need to locate somewhere.  Where can I find them I 
wonder.  Somewhere on the net?  And that is how far I got today.

So, one of the complaints I have is that the instructions for 
installing R on Linux are very cryptic, and to a large extent assume 
that you already know Linux.  Which I do not.  And I expect 
instructions on installing should be simple and clear.  But I am a 
very experienced computer user, so I really expect to be able to 
understand instructions.  I cannot expect my students to manage what I 
cannot manage myself, so Linux is out, or at least Suse Linux.  And 
that is a pity, for a number of reasons.

The second is just as much surprise at the installation procedure. 
Under Windows there are any number of installers which make it easy 
for a programmer to put together all the files needed and place them 
in the right place.

And simeone should get the OpenSuse people to include R in the 


| Tom Backer Johnsen, Psychometrics Unit,  Faculty of Psychology |
| University of Bergen, Christies gt. 12, N-5015 Bergen,  NORWAY |
| Tel : +47-5558-9185                        Fax : +47-5558-9879 |
| Email : backer at psych.uib.no    URL : http://www.galton.uib.no/ |

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