[Rd] Interaction between callNextMethod() and selectMethod()

Simon Urbanek simon.urbanek at r-project.org
Sun Aug 5 04:16:52 CEST 2012

On Aug 4, 2012, at 9:49 PM, Hervé Pagès wrote:

> On 08/03/2012 11:44 PM, peter dalgaard wrote:
>> On Aug 4, 2012, at 01:24 , Hervé Pagès wrote:
>>> BTW, it's funny that the VERSION file in the R source tree says:
>>>  hpages at latitude:~/src/R-2.16.r59963$ cat VERSION
>>>  2.16.0 Under development (unstable)
>>>  ^^^^^^
>> What's funny about that? We no longer display the number on startup and at some point we may not even use it for an actual release, but there needs to be a number to test "R >= 2.14.0"-style dependencies and such.
> What's funny is that even if we try to pretend that the version
> number doesn't matter, it actually does matter. Not only for
> "R >= 2.14.0"-style dependencies and such, but also for human communication:
> - Can't install that package!
> - Works for me. What version of R are you using?
> - "Unsuffered Consequences"
> - I'm using "Roasted Marshmallows", you should upgrade to
>  that one.
> - I'm confused I thought I was running the latest.
> - No "Roasted Marshmallows" is the latest.
> - Are you sure? How do you know?
> etc, etc...
> It reminds me of Mozilla plans to hide Firefox version:
>  https://bugzilla.mozilla.org/show_bug.cgi?id=678775
> AFAIK they finally abandoned it :-)

I agree. Currently R-devel doesn't show the version number and that makes sense for two reasons: let's say today R-devel's internal version is 2.16.0 but such release doesn't exist yet so you can't call R-devel that in any case that may be referenced later (because then there will be 2.16.0 release at some point which is different from the R-devel that was referred to). Also we don't know for sure if the next release will be 2.16.0 or let's say 3.0.0.

That said, I was surprised that Peter said "for an actual release" (I'm not sure he meant it in the way you interpreted it, though) - I think it's slightly annoying that R.version.string in R-devel doesn't contain the version number (because it makes it slightly more complicated to get the version number in scripts), but not having it or showing it for releases would certainly be fatal but I did not see any reason or discussion about such a move.


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