[R-pkg-devel] Testing on old R versions

Neal Richardson ne@|@p@r|ch@rd@on @end|ng |rom gm@||@com
Thu Jan 28 17:22:52 CET 2021

I've used the https://hub.docker.com/r/rstudio/r-base images for this, and
they appear to go back to R 3.1. Likewise
https://hub.docker.com/r/rocker/r-ver. The latter uses MRAN to install
packages from a CRAN snapshot corresponding to the release, so that should
also help with dependencies.


On Thu, Jan 28, 2021 at 7:06 AM Duncan Murdoch <murdoch.duncan using gmail.com>

> I just received a bug report about the rgl package:  it claims to depend
> on R >= 3.2.0, but actually uses the hcl.colors() function that was
> introduced in R 3.6.0, so fails to install.  (This dependence was
> introduced while I had the dependence stated as R >= 4.0.0 for a while,
> until I tried to help people stuck on old releases; I fixed some of the
> 4.0.0 needs, but missed this one.)
> So of course what I should have done was to run the checks on R 3.2.0
> (and maybe intermediate versions) to confirm it works, but I didn't try
> that before releasing to CRAN.
> I've just finished installing a copy of R 3.2.0 and testing my fix, so I
> think things are fine now.  This took some work; some of the packages
> used by the current rgl didn't exist when R 3.2.0 was current, so no
> binaries exist for them; installing the tools for binary builds takes
> time, etc.
> So finally, my question:  what is the recommended way to handle tests of
> new packages on old R versions?  Do docker or other images exist that
> are already set up and ready to go?
> Duncan Murdoch
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