[Rd] R-1.2.3: a small suggestion (PR#961)

ripley@stats.ox.ac.uk ripley@stats.ox.ac.uk
Thu, 31 May 2001 18:07:23 +0200 (MET DST)

On Thu, 31 May 2001 beebe@math.utah.edu wrote:

> [This is not a bug report, just a suggestion.]
> With complex packages, it is often useful to maintain multiple
> versions installed, for bug checking, and performance comparisons, and
> for developers, for a development history (e.g., I have about 30
> versions of ghostscript, whose development I contribute to, and I have
> on several occasions run tests files on with each them to find out
> when a change in behavior was introduced).
> The common way to do this is to suffix a version number to the
> executable and any file tree(s) that it requires.
> The R-1.2.3 release does not currently do this, but it looks like only
> a couple of lines of changes are needed to accomplish the job, and
> I've done so locally manually.
> (1) In the R script, change
> 	R_HOME_DIR=/usr/local/lib/R
>     to
> 	R_HOME_DIR=/usr/local/lib/R-1.2.3
>     and name the tree that way during installation.
> (2) At installation time, first install the executable as
>     /usr/local/bin/R-1.2.3, then remove /usr/local/bin/R,
>     then do "ln -s R-1.2.3 /usr/local/bin/R" or
>     "ln R-1.2.3 /usr/local/bin/R", in that order.  This
>     ensures that any existing version of R remains on the system,
>     accessible as R-x.y.z.
> [Obviously, in the above, "/usr/local" is really "$(prefix)".]
> I suggest that the next round of R distribution consider incorporating
> this change.

There is a serious problem with that. All the user-installed packages in
/usr/local/lib/R-1.2.3/library disappear from view on upgrade.  They would
need to be migrated.

Brian D. Ripley,                  ripley@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 272860 (secr)
Oxford OX1 3TG, UK                Fax:  +44 1865 272595

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