[Rd] upgrading an R installation to next versoin

Gabor Grothendieck ggrothendieck at gmail.com
Thu Jun 30 18:24:46 CEST 2005

On 6/30/05, Duncan Murdoch <murdoch at stats.uwo.ca> wrote:
> 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

I am not too fond of cluttering up my system with environment
variables but do have an idea for one one partial measure that 
might be considered.

If the installation kept track of the previous installation by putting the 
installation path of the previous installation somewhere (probably the 
registry but maybe a file or an environment variable) then it would be 
possible for the user to write a batch file or even an R routine that 
copied information from the previous installation to the current one.

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