[Rd] Problem building (binary) packages for Windows

Uwe Ligges ligges at statistik.tu-dortmund.de
Fri May 15 20:48:03 CEST 2009

Peter Ruckdeschel wrote:
> 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
>                 http://developer.r-project.org/blosxom.cgi/R-devel
> 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
> today.
> 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.

For R-devel, it is in the svn logs. Since it may change again, NEWS is 
not always edited while things are tested.

Uwe Ligges

> Best, Peter
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