[R-sig-Fedora] R-devel going away

Martyn Plummer plummer at iarc.fr
Thu Oct 23 16:38:03 CEST 2008

Thank you. We really appreciate this.

On Thu, 2008-10-23 at 09:55 -0400, Tom "spot" Callaway wrote:
> This email serves as an announcement that I plan to swallow up R-devel
> into the base R package. Why?
> * It is causing no end of user complaints. The typical R user expects to
> be able to do a "CPAN" (really, I should say "CRAN") style package
> install through the R interface:
> install.packages("RSQLite")
> This doesn't work unless you have R-devel installed. The average R user
> is a professor or a student, and neither of them are going to
> necessarily possess the necessary Linux/Fedora knowledge to be able to
> understand why this doesn't work like the R documentation says it
> should. 
> * The size of the R-devel is tiny, about 440K installed. It will not
> bloat the main package to absorb the .h files and a .pc file into the
> main package. There are no libraries in the R-devel package.
> * The primary users of R-devel are R addon packages. They can continue
> to BuildRequires: R-devel safely (hooray for Provides/Requires).
> * libRmath (the R shared library) will still be a separate package.
> libRmath-devel will still be a separate package. As far as I know,
> nothing in Fedora uses libRmath, nor is libRmath-devel necessary for
> building R addons.
> Now, I recognize that this is a violation of the Fedora Packaging
> Guidelines, and I've given a lot of thought to this over the last few
> days, and technically, this is a reversal of my earlier stance (which is
> to stick to the guidelines). However, I think this is a key
> functionality that Fedora R users expect to just work, and I want to try
> to make sure that they get the best R experience out of the box that
> they can. 
> As Martyn Plummer pointed out:
>    There are currently 1533 packages/bundles on CRAN, not counting the
>    recommended packages that are already distributed with R. Of these
>    packages, 420 require to the R headers. Fedora only supplies RPMs for
> 9
>    of them.
> I'm not entirely sure if I need FESCo or FPC approval to take this
> action, if so, this is my notice of requesting it. ;)
> I'm also looking for feedback and comments, of course. 
> Thanks,
> ~spot (Fedora R maintainer)
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