[R-SIG-Mac]Package distribution for Macintosh R

Stefano Iacus jago@mclink.it
Tue, 18 Jun 2002 21:47:55 +0200

Just for all Mac users/developers information: we switched to MPW 
instead of using CodeWarrior as MPW is completely free from Apple site.
Starting from version 1.3.x, R can be entirely built with no cost 
products (MPW, MacPerl, f2c)
src/macintosh/INSTALL provide a step by step procedure to have a setup 
for build Carbon R. But, I understand, is not that easy as on other 

>> -- it seems to me that for other Unixes R and its packages are
>>    also distributed as binaries (for the same reason). Every Unix
>>    distribution must provide binaries of the recommended
>>    packages
>> -- packages in the Carbon version  are binaries because the
>>     typical R user does not know (and probably cannot be
>>     asked to know) how to build shared libraries on the OS 9
>>     platform. tools (MPW, CodeWarrior) are readily available.
> I agree. Readily available, perhaps, but at a prohibitive financial 
> price, I think. In OS X, the tools are available, but the cost is more 
> in the users' time than his/her money.

> And how many of these binaries required modifications either to source 
> code (C or fortran?) or to a makefile, that were specific to OS 
> X/Darwin.
> For example, if I develop a package that includes fortran or C code, I 
> can only test it on platforms available to me. How, in general, do 
> package developers ensure that their packages work on all of the 
> platforms that R works on? Is OS X so different that whatever has been 
> working for various other unixes doesn't work for OS X?
you should test your package with "R CMD check" and similar, then you 
are not granted that is surely works on other platforms but you can ask 
to the maintainers of the major platforms to test it.

> I've had pretty good success with install.packages() in Darwin R, 
> though that may be because I've only tried some of the simpler 
> packages. And not very many either.
>> -- next week I will have OS X installer packages for the
>>     whole thing, and users only need to know how to
>>     double=click, and only have to deal with a single
>>     installer file.
>> -- with the Quartz device and the Cocoa interfaces things
>>     will become easier for the user, but harder for the developer
>>     (need to know more stuff, need to have more stuff)
> I'm a little concerned at this prospect, because you and Stefano and 
> others currently involved who have the expertise will someday wish to 
> stop--who will take your place? The higher the level of expertise and 
> resources required, the fewer potential candidates, I would think.

this is true for any platform actually

> I greatly appreciate the effort and generosity involved in providing 
> binaries--especially in OS 9 and the early days of OS X. Even so I 
> would feel more comfortable knowing that I could build from sources if 
> necessary. So I hope this vision comes to pass.
I can only insist with you and other possible Mac R 
developers/maintainers to try to build Carbon R or the Darwin R.

As I said, for Carbon R just try to follow the step by step instructions 
in src/macintosh/INSTALL. This could be a good test to verify if the 
instructions work well for you and other possible users.

For the Darwin R, my suggestion is that you should download the latest 
official sources (not the devel version), then use

./configure CPPFLAGS="-I/sw/include" LDFLAGS="-L/sw/lib/"

You have to use fink to install some of the required libraries first.
If you encounter problems, please write in this list and we will try to 
help you. Thus, at the end we will have another step by step list of 
thing to do to build Darwin R.