[Rd] Wording of "R Installation and Administration"

Prof Brian Ripley ripley at stats.ox.ac.uk
Mon Jun 2 09:06:13 MEST 2003

On Sun, 1 Jun 2003, Duncan Murdoch wrote:

> On Mon, 2 Jun 2003 09:11:51 +1200 (NZST), you wrote:
> >Hi,
> >
> >I hope I haven't got this wrong, but I don't think one needs Perl 
> >installed if they install the "precompiled" packages for Windows right?
> Right.
> >
> >I'm just wondering if the first sentence in the "R Installation and 
> >Administration" can be re-worded a bit so newbies won't get confused....
> I've rewritten it from this:
> > "Installing source 
> >packages requires that Perl 5.004 or later be installed."  
> to this:
> "Packages may be distributed in source form or compiled binary form.
> Installing source packages requires that compilers and tools
> (including Perl 5.004 or later) be installed. Binary packages are
> platform specific and generally need no special tools to install, but
> see the documentation for your platform for details."
> I hope that's clearer, but I'm not sure...

I am not at all sure it is clearer.  There are only binary packages in
common use for Windows (given that MacOS < X is only bug-fixed for 
1.7.x, and in any case excluded from that section).

Newcomers do need to learn some of the R terminology, and avoiding this 
one will only defer the problem a step or so.  Things like learning that
there are other OSes in the world than the one they use are necessary to 
make sense of R's docs.

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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