[R] Upgrading R using the "global library folder" strategy -, what do you think about it?

Marshall Feldman marsh at uri.edu
Mon Apr 26 16:27:45 CEST 2010

On 4/25/2010 19:39:52, Tal Galili wrote:
> *c) R core implementation ?!*
> I hope I am not being rude (or jumping into any open doors) in asking this
> but...
> What do you think about implementing this strategy into the R basic
> installation?


As a general rule, I think R should make upgrading as easy and seamless 
as possible. Upgrading strategies seem system-dependent, but we already 
have to download system-specific versions for Windows, OS X, and Linux. 
To me it appears that doing what you're doing on Windows could easily be 
implemented on *nix based systems with shell scripts. So why not have 
the appropriate scripts ask a few questions upon the first installation 
of R (e.g., "Do you want to configure R with a "global" library for 
packages to make future upgrading easier?") and at upgrade time ("Your 
previous version of R has a "global" library; do you want the new 
version to use it?). I'd even go so far as to have the shell script 
automatically call an R script to run update.packages().

The point is that most users just want to upgrade, and the upgrade 
procedure can and should (a) make this as seamless as possible and (b) 
allow those who may want to run specialized versions of R opt out of the 
automatic procedure.

     Marsh Feldman

More information about the R-help mailing list