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

Peter Dalgaard p.dalgaard at biostat.ku.dk
Wed Apr 19 22:48:48 CEST 2006

Gabor Csardi <csardi at rmki.kfki.hu> writes:

> Tom,
> I'm irritated as well. Your email should go to some suse mailing list, 
> this is a suse problem, it has (almost) nothing to do with R.

Well, there's a maintainer of the SuSE packages, to whom you can
complain. It is possible to put better package dependencies in the
RPMs (Fedora Extras does this) but there's only the one maintainer on
SuSE and it could well be that it would take more time than he has.
> Unfortunately i can't help you (even if i wanted), because i don't want to
> read the suse manuals. But if you want to use suse you may consider reading
> them.
> Gabor
> On Wed, Apr 19, 2006 at 09:05:22PM +0200, Tom Backer Johnsen wrote:
> > 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.

Actually, they're not. On Windows, software typically comes in
monolithic blocks. Nearly everything included, because the basic OS
provides very little. On Linux distributions, you have a large
"jigsaw" of pieces that fit together in multiple ways. Ideally, each
piece contains information about which of the other pieces it needs,
but unfortunately there is no automatic way to generate such
dependencies, so it is possible to get them wrong.

> > 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 
> > installation.
> > 
> > Tom
> > 
> > +----------------------------------------------------------------+
> > | 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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> -- 
> Csardi Gabor <csardi at rmki.kfki.hu>    MTA RMKI, ELTE TTK
> ______________________________________________
> R-help at stat.math.ethz.ch mailing list
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> PLEASE do read the posting guide! http://www.R-project.org/posting-guide.html

   O__  ---- Peter Dalgaard             Øster Farimagsgade 5, Entr.B
  c/ /'_ --- Dept. of Biostatistics     PO Box 2099, 1014 Cph. K
 (*) \(*) -- University of Copenhagen   Denmark          Ph:  (+45) 35327918
~~~~~~~~~~ - (p.dalgaard at biostat.ku.dk)                  FAX: (+45) 35327907

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