[R] update.packages() and install.packages() does not work more because of "Error in read.dcf"

Uwe Ligges ligges at statistik.tu-dortmund.de
Thu Apr 1 20:40:14 CEST 2010

On 30.03.2010 23:00, R P Herrold wrote:
> On Tue, 30 Mar 2010, Prof Brian Ripley wrote:
>> A hint: I have seen this exact error message with a build configured
>> to use the system's zlib 1.2.4 (which has been out for about 2 weeks),
>> and this incompatibility is noted in the current R 2.11.0 alpha's
>> manuals.
>> We do recommend *not* using the system zlib, but if you do insist on
>> doing so do be aware that R may not work with future versions of
>> external software.
> In the short term, and for a person willing to chase new versions that
> is fine -- but part of using system (shared) libraries is that
> unknowable unknowns such as latent security issues not yet known in the
> 'bundles with R' library are patched away when a (here for the sake of
> example) new replacement zlib with a fix, is slotted in. Additionally
> the benefit of a smaller memory footprint when shared libraries are used
> is lost.
> The true fault causing the noted message seems to be that there is a
> faulty compression/decompression occuring in a carried library --
> would't it be better to not bundle a frozen library, and to rather
> simply 'flag' packages needed a rebuild so that fault is cured?
> I am curious here

Ah, 'flag' those packages. I am curious to learn how to do that and see 
the patches / code that enable us to tell R, packages, repositories, 
users and developers that linking against some new library is required 
(including seldom but possible API changes).

Uwe Ligges

> -- Russ herrold
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