[Rd] upgrading an R installation to next versoin

Dirk Eddelbuettel edd at debian.org
Thu Jun 30 15:32:32 CEST 2005

Duncan Murdoch <murdoch <at> stats.uwo.ca> writes:
> 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

Same here, and I also change one or two things in etc/Rconsole.  It would
be nice if we could tell to keep 'site-wide' config files outside of $R_HOME 
(which is always version-number challenged, ie. the path changes four times a 
year [ assuming two regular releases with one patch releases each, as has been 
the norm lately ] ).  

So just as I can set R_LIBS in ~/.Renviron to point to my library directory, 
would it make sense to add, say, R_ETC ?

> > 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.)

I have no issues with the tetex installation in Cygwin.

> > 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.)

I ignore the icons, so I don't care.  But I always need to update my softlink
farm in /usr/local/bin for R, Rgui, Rterm, Rcmd.

> > 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.

As Duncan mentioned, this one is easy to take care of. I use 
in ~/.Renviron, and that directory is outside of / parallel to where I install
the different R versions.

One idea I had was if we could ask the installer to (optionally) adopt a scheme
different from rwXXXX/ and to simple use something like Rcurrent/, with an
optional renaming of the previous R installation to Rprevious.  That way,
Gabor's desktop icon doesn't need to change, nor do my softlinks in
/usr/local/bin have to be adapted, as they always point into Rcurrent/bin/ .

I am probably overlooking something.  But in case I don't, would anybody else
see merit in this scheme?

Regards, Dirk

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