[Rd] Wishlist: install.packages to look for the newest version of a package (PR#13851)

Uwe Ligges ligges at statistik.tu-dortmund.de
Sat Jul 25 11:45:09 CEST 2009

Ulrike Grömping wrote:
> Uwe,
> I am talking binaries and Windows. I was not thinking of building 
> binaries for old versions, but of looking in the new version 
> repositories first, whether there is a binary that is said to be valid 
> for the older version. Wouldn't it be possible to have the process look 
> up a table of a newer R version for compatible binaries ?

[I stopped bugging R-bugs and "just" send to R-devel now]

Well, we cannot know if a package needs to be recompiled for another R 
version - you cannot assume binary compatibility: a package compiled 
under R-x1.y1.z may not work under R-x2.y2.z, for x1.y1 != x2.y2

> I got stuck with R 2-8.1 (which is not that old and should not have 
> stopped building binaries yet, has it?), 

Well we are building binaries for R-2.9.x and R-devel (to be R-2.10.0) 
and stopped building for R-2.8.x. S

where the binary install
> installs version 0.2 from the Austrian repository although version 0.3 
> has been around for almost a month and version 0.4-1 is current.
> As a workaround, I could at least refer people who are willing to test 
> my current (quickly changing) design packages to the install command 
> that allows them to install the packages from the newer repository 
> without upgrading their R version. 

No, since we cannot be sure that the new binary works with old R. Source 
package compatibility does not imply binary compatibility.

 > Could you help me out with that
> command ? I searched quite a bit and remember a help entry by you, but 
> did not find anything any more about the syntax of install.packages for 
> this purpose.

Well, you could try by downloading the most recent version form CRAN and 
install via zip file from the Windows GUI. Or much better, install from 
sources which is not that difficult.

Best wishes,

> Regards, Ulrike
> Uwe Ligges schrieb:
>> Ulrike,
>> if you install from source, you always get the most recent version of 
>> the package given it does not depend on a newer version of R.
>> If you want a binary package, you also get the newest version - that 
>> was newest at the time we stopped building binaries for that version 
>> of R.
>> We (or better I if we only talk about Windows, but similar for all 
>> other platforms) cannot build for each R version any more. In that 
>> case we'd have to build even 11 binary versions for Windows just for 
>> the R-2.x.y series now. Binary repositories are fixed at some time 
>> (for Windows once the first patchlevel release of the next R version 
>> is out, e.g. at the time of the R-2.9.1 release the binary builds for 
>> R-2.8.x had been stopped).
>> So please upgrade your version of R or compile yourself from sources 
>> for the R version you need the particular package for.
>> Best wishes,
>> Uwe Ligges
>> groemping at bht-berlin.de wrote:
>>> Full_Name: Ulrike Groemping
>>> Version: 2.9.0 (and older)
>>> OS: Windows
>>> Submission from: (NULL) (
>>> When using an older version of R, packages are not found although 
>>> they are
>>> available for newer versions of R and do work when installed with the 
>>> old
>>> version. For example, installing DoE.base on R 2.8.1 installs version 
>>> 0.2, while
>>> CRAN is at version 0.4-1 currently. It would be nice if the install 
>>> process
>>> would per default look for the newest version of the package and 
>>> install this
>>> one if its R-version request allows this. (I recently found a help 
>>> list entry by
>>> Uwe Ligges that explains how to manually install from a repository 
>>> for a newer
>>> CRAN version, but I did not bookmark it and cannot find it any more. The
>>> documentation does not enlighten me there.)
>>> Regards, Ulrike
>>> ______________________________________________
>>> R-devel at r-project.org mailing list
>>> https://stat.ethz.ch/mailman/listinfo/r-devel

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