[R] Hunting for snow...

Brian Lunergan ff809 at ncf.ca
Sun Jul 9 13:39:31 CEST 2006

Prof Brian Ripley wrote:
> On Sat, 8 Jul 2006, Brian Lunergan wrote:
>> Evening folks:
>> I did an install.views of finance and econometrics and between the two of
>> them R reported 'FracSim', 'RDCOMClient', 'snow', 'VGAM', and 'segmented'
>> as missing dependencies. Now, I've managed to hunt down what appear to be
>> current zip file copies of all of the packages but 'snow'. Is there a
>> windows edition of the package out there someplace that will get along 
>> with
>> R v2.3.1 and if so, how do I find it?
>> Please and thanks...
> PLEASE read the README:
> http://cran.r-project.org/bin/windows/contrib/2.3/@ReadMe
> and see the check summary at
> http://cran.r-project.org/bin/windows/contrib/checkSummaryWin.html
> snow runs distributed R tasks across hosts: it has three modes and
> prefers PVM and MPI if packages rpvm or Rmpi are available (which they 
> are not for Windows).  As a result only some of its functionality can be 
> used on Windows, and anyone who is going to get involved at that level 
> of programming will very easily install the package from the sources.
Let me see if I understand this correctly. Something in the finance task 
view would seem to consider snow a dependency; however, the package in 
question has dragged it along for the ride into Windows, crippling its 

Problem and a question. Having checked the file on the UofT CRAN mirror 
that lists dependencies for the available files snow only appears attached 
to three of them, none of which are listed as part the finance view or 
anything I already have on my system. What is R seeing these as a 
dependency for then? Perhaps the view maintainers can suggest something? If 
it is not available for windows and is only partially functional there can 
it be safely ignored as a dependency?

One other puzzle resulting from this. The check summary suggested problems 
with 'FracSim', 'RDCOMClient', 'VGAM', and 'segmented' as windows packages 
but yet the versions I found seemed to install without complaint onto my 
system. Three gave back the successful unpack msg. VGAM did not, but 
several of the demo scripts ran without complaint so I am assuming it is 
comfortable with v2.3.1 on a windows system. Later versions of the four 
than were tested in the check summary, perhaps?

Brian Lunergan
Nepean, Ontario

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