[Rd] Wording of "R Installation and Administration"

Duncan Murdoch dmurdoch at pair.com
Mon Jun 2 08:09:25 MEST 2003

I wrote:

> 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."

On Mon, 2 Jun 2003 08:06:13 +0100 (BST), Prof Brian Ripley
<ripley at stats.ox.ac.uk> wrote:

>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.  

My aim was to introduce the terminology here.  The section didn't
mention the distinction between source and binary, and it should do
that.  "Source" means something very specific to a developer, but it
has a more generalized meaning too, and we shouldn't assume that
people installing packages are developers.

>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.

I don't see how the original is as good in this regard as the
replacement, but I'd have no objection if you rewrote it to make it
clearer, as long as the source/binary distinction is in there

Duncan Murdoch

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