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

Nathan Watson-Haigh N@th@n@W@t@on-h@|gh @end|ng |rom @@hmr|@com
Thu Jan 28 20:45:59 CET 2021

I haven't tried it (yet), but perhaps using github actions CI you could specify an older version of R:

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From: R-package-devel <r-package-devel-bounces using r-project.org> on behalf of Duncan Murdoch <murdoch.duncan using gmail.com>
Sent: Friday, January 29, 2021 1:35:40 AM
To: r-package-devel using r-project.org <r-package-devel using r-project.org>
Subject: [R-pkg-devel] Testing on old R versions

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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