[Rd] upgrading an R installation to next versoin

Duncan Murdoch murdoch at stats.uwo.ca
Thu Jun 30 15:02:44 CEST 2005

On 6/30/2005 8:10 AM, Gabor Grothendieck wrote:
> When I install a new version of R (Windows XP) I have to:
> 1. copy my rw....\etc\Rprofile.site file to the new installation
> 2. copy the rw....\share\texmf files to the tex subfolder of the 
>    miktex root directory and then refresh the miktex name database
>    (I have a batch file that does this for me which I run
>    whenever I install a new version of R.)
> 3. setup the shortcut key using 'properties' on my R desktop icon so 
>    that ctrl-alt-R brings up the new rather than the old R.  (This one
>    really had me confused once since I did not realize I was still
>    using the old version of R after installing the new one.)
> 4. reinstall the packages I use or else setup etc\Renviron.site with 
>    an R_LIBS to point to include the old library or perhaps one can
>    copy the libraries over being careful not to overwrite new versions
>    of the standard libraries.
> Many other windows program automatically transfer the settings when 
> you upgrade them.
> I wonder if the installation process could optionally transfer
> such settings from an old installation to a new one to make it
> easier to install R.

I think a couple of these could be handled by not applying so many 
modifications to the R installation, do more locally.  For example, #1 
needn't be copied, you can just use the R_ENVIRON environment variable 
to point to it and both versions will see it.

I'd call #2 a bug in MikTeX, but it's probably one we'll have to work 
around one of these days.  (The bug is dropping support for the 
environment variable specification of extra include directories.)

#3 might be something we could do, but I don't see how.  The installer 
could know what hotkey you used the last time you installed R, but if 
you changed it in the meantime, how would it know about that?  And how 
would it remove the hotkey from the old shortcut?  (A little 
experimentation suggests that XP is buggy in handling multiple shortcuts 
with the same hotkey.  I'd rather stay away from this.)

#4 is another case where you can put your libraries outside R_HOME.

Duncan Murdoch

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