[Rd] The install.R and R_PROFILE.R files

Prof Brian Ripley ripley at stats.ox.ac.uk
Wed Feb 1 09:35:05 CET 2006

R-exts says

   Both install.R and R_PROFILE.R should be viewed as experimental; the
   mechanism to execute code before attaching or installing the package may
   change in the near future. With the other facilities available as from R
   2.0.0 they should be removed if possible.

Every usage of these on CRAN is unnecessary. If you want to save the 
image, say so in the SaveImage field in DESCRIPTION (but why not LazyLoad 
instead?).  If you require methods, say so in Depends in DESCRIPTION.

I propose that we deprecate/remove this mechanism (as it makes 
installation a lot convoluted than it needs to be).  Does any one know of

(a) A usage that requires one of these files to do something which cannot 
now be done more simply via fields in DESCRIPTION, or

(b) A package that requires a saved image (and lazy loading is 

If so, please let us know.

I am also minded to deprecate/remove the following command-line flags to 

   -s, --save[=ARGS]     save the package source as an image file, and
                         arrange for this file to be loaded when the
                         package is attached; if given, ARGS are passed
                         to R when creating the save image
       --no-save         do not save the package source as an image file
       --lazy            use lazy loading
       --no-lazy         do not use lazy loading
       --lazy-data       use lazy loading for data
       --no-lazy-data    do not use lazy loading for data (current default)

since these have been superseded by the DESCRIPTION fields (and Windows 
does not support --save=ARGS).

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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