[R-pkg-devel] R CMD check NOTE - Long paths in package
henrik.bengtsson at ucsf.edu
Tue Oct 13 23:21:54 CEST 2015
Regardless of tar or not, note that there are other limits in R on how
long *file* names can be, e.g.
> pathname <- paste(rep("a", times=255), collapse="")
> cat("hello", file=pathname)
> pathname <- paste(rep("a", times=256), collapse="")
> cat("hello", file=pathname)
Error in file(file, ifelse(append, "a", "w")) :
cannot open the connection
In addition: Warning message:
In file(file, ifelse(append, "a", "w")) :
cannot open file
File name too long
The above is the output from R 3.2.2 on x86_64-pc-linux-gnu (64-bit).
I don't know if/where this is documented.
Also, and possibly related to the above, the MS Windows operating
system has a limit of 256 characters on the *absolute* *pathname*
(directory and file names including slashes but not initial drive
letter specification), cf.
instance, if your package is installed in, say, library
"C:/Users/JohnDoe/R/win-library/3.2/", you've already used up 35
characters out of your 256 available ones just there. Then add the
length of your package name. So, allowing for fairly long usernames
on Windows, in order for your package to build/install on Windows as
well, you might still want to aim for something like a maximum of
200-character *relative* pathnames. (You might get away with a bit
longer src/ pathnames if you build a Windows binary package under,
say, "T:/', because src/ is not part of the distributed binary, so the
user can still install it, but I don't know how far you want to push
On Tue, Oct 13, 2015 at 1:04 PM, Charles Determan <cdetermanjr at gmail.com> wrote:
> I'm glad to see this discussion. Unfortunately in the short term I cannot
> remove the nested files (as Dirk implies with the BH package) as it would
> require restructuring the c++ library and make it far more difficult to
> maintain. Unless there are other suggestions I will need to hold off on
> submission until such a time that OSs that use obsolete tools are no longer
> supported out-of-the-box (as Peter says). I will likely just continue to
> maintain the package on my gitub until CRAN would accept the longer paths.
> On Tue, Oct 13, 2015 at 4:02 AM, peter dalgaard <pdalgd at gmail.com> wrote:
>> On 13 Oct 2015, at 09:42 , Uwe Ligges <ligges at statistik.tu-dortmund.de>
>> > On 13.10.2015 09:01, Barry Rowlingson wrote:
>> >> On Tue, Oct 13, 2015 at 4:16 AM, Dirk Eddelbuettel <edd at debian.org>
>> >>> On 12 October 2015 at 13:13, Charles Determan wrote:
>> >>> | Greetings,
>> >>> |
>> >>> | I have a package which provides headers for a C++ library (similar
>> to the
>> >>> | BH package). However, the C++ library has some heavily nested
>> >>> | within its' structure so when I run R CMD check I get the following
>> >>> |
>> >>> | Tarballs are only required to store paths of up to 100 bytes and
>> >>> | store those of more than 256 bytes, with restrictions including to
>> >>> | bytes for the final component.
>> >>> |
>> >>> | Is this a major problem?
>> >>> Yes.
>> >>> | As this is a 'NOTE' I am under the impression
>> >>> | that the long paths are not critical but I want to make sure.
>> >>> Wrong.
>> >>> 'BH' is called 'BH', believe it or not, to save a few letters, or else
>> >>> would have a dozen or more files complain for the very same reason
>> (and CRAN
>> >>> reject it for non-suitable path/filenames). Hence not 'BoostHeaders'
>> >>> just 'BH'. And see the ChangeLog of BH and revel in how _each_ release
>> has to
>> >>> rename one of the Runge-Kutta integration files to make the 'net' path
>> >>> be suitable for R packing.
>> >>> There is no point in ignoring the output of R CMD check unless you
>> >>> know better.
>> >> But is it worth asking if the NOTE's restriction could be lifted,
>> >> given that from what I read on wikipedia that the "tar" file format
>> >> has been happy with long path names since 2001? Given that R-Core/CRAN
>> >> sometimes refer to R versions from a year ago as "obsolete", how can
>> >> they complain about sticking with a file format restriction from the
>> >> last century? I've just happily made a tar file with a path that is
>> >> 1300 chars long containing a file with a name of 160 chars .
>> >> Or are there still old versions of tar around, or other file systems
>> >> with restrictive naming practices (in which case the error should be
>> >> about the names/paths of the files themselves, not that old versions
>> >> of tar can't cope with them)?
>> > Yes, some Unixes seem to have old tar versions installed.
>> Yes, it is somewhat harder to deem entire OSs obsolete...
>> But: How old versions and how common is the issue?
>> Mainstream Unix is essentially Linux and OS X these days. OS X seems to be
>> stuck in 2010 (BSD tar 2.8.3), at least up until Yosemite. Linux distros
>> usually keep themselves up to date, except for the enterprise/long upgrade
>> cycle ones that can be like 5 years outdated. Less common, but still in
>> use, are FreeBSD, Solaris and AIX.
>> It _is_ a valid question for how long we want out-of-the-box support for
>> OSs that use obsolete tools. At some point we could decide that the more
>> obscure Unices would have to install a recent version (with the R
>> configuration arranging to set TAR=/usr/local/bin/gtar or somesuch).
>> > Best,
>> > Uwe Ligges
>> >> It now seems to have bothered at least two people and Dirk sounds
>> >> like he's had to implement a little hack to keep the path names down.
>> >> Barry
>> >> ______________________________________________
>> >> R-package-devel at r-project.org mailing list
>> >> https://stat.ethz.ch/mailman/listinfo/r-package-devel
>> > ______________________________________________
>> > R-package-devel at r-project.org mailing list
>> > https://stat.ethz.ch/mailman/listinfo/r-package-devel
>> Peter Dalgaard, Professor,
>> Center for Statistics, Copenhagen Business School
>> Solbjerg Plads 3, 2000 Frederiksberg, Denmark
>> Phone: (+45)38153501
>> Office: A 4.23
>> Email: pd.mes at cbs.dk Priv: PDalgd at gmail.com
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