[R-SIG-Mac] Installing packages with type="source" instead of the default binary?

Prof Brian Ripley ripley at stats.ox.ac.uk
Mon Sep 9 12:28:58 CEST 2013

On 09/09/2013 10:56, Rainer M Krug wrote:
> Hi
> I am using Snow Leopard and I can compile packages (I have all tools
> installed) but I am asking myself:
> Is there an advantage to using type="source" instead of the binary
> install of the packages? For certain packages it makes sense to have
> fine grained control to link to certain versions of C libraries
> (e.g. rgdal), but is there a general advantage of compiling locally?

There is an advantage if you run multiple versions of R and want to 
share a library directory.  The CRAN binary versions are tied to the 
R.framework installation.

But otherwise

- for the majority of packages (which have no compiled code), there is 
almost no advantage in installing from source, but also very little loss 
(you need no extra tools).

- The CRAN binaries are built for 3.0.0 I believe, and certainly not 
re-built for patch versions.  For a very few packages it is advantageous 
to use the latest patch version (I am thinking of some issues with 
non-Sweave vignettes in recent history, but there have been other issues).

- You might well want to use different external C/C++/Fortran software, 
and you may even need to do so or use a different compiler (there are 
packages which install with clang but not llvm-gcc and v.v.).

> Or is that simply a leftover from my Linux days, that I prefer locally
> compiled packages?
> Thanks,
> Rainer
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Brian D. Ripley,                  ripley at stats.ox.ac.uk
Professor of Applied Statistics,  http://www.stats.ox.ac.uk/~ripley/
University of Oxford,             Tel:  +44 1865 272861 (self)
1 South Parks Road,                     +44 1865 272866 (PA)
Oxford OX1 3TG, UK                Fax:  +44 1865 272595

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