[R-SIG-Mac] install.packages default type change?

Bill Northcott w.northcott at unsw.edu.au
Sat Jul 23 14:14:31 CEST 2005

On 23/07/2005, at 1:46 PM, Jan de Leeuw wrote:
> if you have the dev tools put options(pkgtype="source") in your  
> Rprofile.site
> but I agree that it is generally a good idea to have R compiled  
> with the
> same compilers that build your packages
> so that means that you should use source packages if, and only if,  
> you build and
> regularly update your own R

OK.  So I got duly beaten up for those last remarks which is probably  

I think Jan has it right.  As things stand, users should not use  
source packages unless they have built R on their system.

I have been chewing on these issues because I package up Swarm  
libraries for MacOS X, and I am trying to sort out my next generation  
for Tiger.

Then Stefano got me to the next step.  MacOS is philosophically not  
Linux or UNIX.  It is meant to be used by grandma.  The implication  
of this is that we should not ship MacOS X binary installers that put  
anything in /usr.  That is Linux/UNIX thinking.  Such stuff is only  
really usable by people who DO understand what a compiler is, and  
grandma definitely does not.  It is not unreasonable to ask users to  
install items like X11 or Xcode from the Apple supplied disks they  
already have.  We know exactly what those packages contain.  However,  
everything else that our software needs such Tcl/Tk X11, Fortran  
compilers etc. should be bundled in the binary frameworks we  
install.  That way our software cannot interfere with anything else  
on the users computer, and if R was packaged like this it might even  
be possible for the user to build source packages without needing to  
understand what is going on.

My apologies for chewing on this out loud, but the discussion has  
been helpful to my thoughts.  I now need to work out if I can see how  
to do this.


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