[Rd] Problem building (binary) packages for Windows

Peter Ruckdeschel peter.ruckdeschel at web.de
Fri May 15 16:35:50 CEST 2009

Prof Brian Ripley schrieb:
> That version of R-devel is not current, so please update it.
> I think it might have been in an interval where we tried out
> verious fixes for building bundles and some of them broke
> other things.
Yes, I really should have updated; in fact the error re-disappeared
again using the most recent version.

--- But the fix must have happened within the last two weeks ....

In fact, before posting, I had a look at
but did not find anything that was pointing to the direction
that the problem had been solved in the period April 26
(release date of my "old" R-devel version) and
Nor had I found anything pointing to either R CMD build
nor to bundles changed in the interval Feb 09 -- April 26,
but the error-causing changes must have happened within
this period ---

So my fault not having updated gratefully ackowledged, it would
also be nice to be somewhat more detailed in filling the
NEWS file then...

> In general if you use R-devel or R-patched you need to update before
> reporting any difficulties.  'Under development' needs to be taken
> seriously.
> On Fri, 15 May 2009, Peter Ruckdeschel wrote:
>> Hi,
>> I am having a problem building binary packages for
>> Windows recently.
>> Normally, I use the "Murdoch-Sutherland" tool set,
>>       http://www.murdoch-sutherland.com/Rtools/
>> just build source packages by
>>       R CMD build <pkgname>
>> and install these with
>>       R CMD INSTALL <pkgname>
>> But now, for someone without having this tool set installed,
>> under Win XP, with R-2.10dev (details below), I tried
>> building a binary version with
>>       R CMD build --binary <pkgname>
>> which used to work for me until recently (unfortunately I
>> cannot specify "recently" here...)
>> Trying to install the created .zip file with
>>       utils:::menuInstallLocal()
>> I get an error message
>> "
>> package 'distr' successfully unpacked and MD5 sums checked
>> Error in unpackPkg(pkgs[i], pkgnames[i], lib) :
>>  malformed bundle DESCRIPTION file, no Contains field
>> "
>> Now AFAICS I have not tried to build a bundle ...
>> Searching the help archives, I found a posting by Uwe Ligges,
>>       http://article.gmane.org/gmane.comp.lang.r.general/64574/
>> saying that
>>       R CMD INSTALL --build
>> was preferable to
>>       R CMD build --binary
>> --- in which respect? Would this avoid the error message?
> That's rather old as well: now the second calls the first on Windows.
> What may matter is whether you specify -l on R CMD INSTALL --build
> (R CMD build --binary does), as installing into the main library does a
> better job of resolving HTML cross links.
> So the advice is to use R CMD INSTALL --build *and* install into the
> main library (or the library where you install all your add-on packages).
Thank you for clarifying this and once again apologies for stirring you
up with something that had been fixed in the mean-time already.

Best, Peter

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