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

Thomas Adams tadams1 at cinci.rr.com
Sat Jul 23 16:35:37 CEST 2005


A couple points:

(1) I'd be happy to use package binaries only, but the problem is  
that not all packages that I might want to use are available as  

(2) there exists a range of competencies in the Mac OS X world, just  
as there are in the UNIX & Linux worlds; it is not a matter of there  
being specialists with detailed knowledge of all the intricacies of R  
and building R, etc. (or whatever) and everyone else (Grandmas)

(3) many people, such as myself, operate in different computer worlds  
virtually simultaneously. On Mac OS X one of the major drawing points  
is that on a single machine I can do my Mac stuff and 'Linux/UNIX'  
stuff where certain interactions between software are desired and  
needed. I often process a lot of data files using R and GRASS GIS  
together, so I have written Perl/shell scripts to aid me. I would not  
be limited in ways that I could no longer do this.


On Jul 23, 2005, at 8:14 AM, Bill Northcott wrote:

> 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
> justified.
> 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.
> Cheers
> Bill
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