[R] Troubles installing Rcmdr on Mac

John Fox j|ox @end|ng |rom mcm@@ter@c@
Tue Jan 12 16:43:26 CET 2021

Dear Eberhard,

On 2021-01-12 9:41 a.m., Dr Eberhard W Lisse wrote:
> John,
> maybe I misunderestimate the students :-)-O but there is not much
> sophistication required to follow simple instructions while thinking
> about what one is doing when doing so.  At least that was my generation
> of students did.
> If they can install XQuartz, they can install the command line tools.

In my experience, mostly with social-science undergraduates and 
graduate students, the more steps an installation requires, the more 
likely students will encounter difficulties. Your students may well have 
a different level of computer sophistication than mine did, but I know 
that my experience isn't unique.

> And, it's not about RCmdr but about the source packages that you may
> want to have to install for which the command line tools are required.

Right. But all of the packages on which the Rcmdr package depends have 
Mac binaries. As I confirmed yesterday, one can install the Rcmdr and 
its dependencies on macOS without building any packages from source.

> Finally, RStudio is so much easier and more powerful, that I wonder why
> one is bothering with this including XQuartz.

Because I think you underestimate the obstacle that working at the 
command line presents to students who often are already struggling to 
learn basic statistical concepts. In my, and others', experience, it's 
easier for students at this level to work with a statistical GUI than to 
write commands. While working n RStudio or another IDE is undoubtedly 
more powerful, for them it certainly isn't easier. Your teaching 
experiences may be different.


> greetings, el 
> On 12/01/2021 16:19, John Fox wrote:
>> Dear Eberhard,
>> On 2021-01-12 12:32 a.m., Dr Eberhard W Lisse wrote:
>>> John,
>>> what is wrong with installing Xcode’s command lime tools (not Xcode
>>> itself)?
>> Nothing, and I did miss the distinction, but it shouldn't be
>> necessary, and the instructions for installing the Rcmdr are already
>> more complicated on macOS than on other platforms because of the
>> necessity to install XQuartz.  Users should be able to install the
>> Rcmdr package on macOS without having to install packages from source.
>> Remember that Rcmdr users are typically students in basic statistics
>> courses, many of whom have limited software sophistication.
>> Unnecessarily complicating the installation is undesirable.  Of
>> course, if it's necessary to complicate the installation, one has to
>> live with that.
>> I'll be interested to learn whether my suggestions solve the problem.
>> If not, I can add an instruction concerning the Xcode tools to the
>> Rcmdr installation notes for macOS.
>> Thanks for your help,
>>   John
> [...]

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