[Rd] the case of building R snapshot without svn nor network connection.

peter dalgaard pdalgd at gmail.com
Sat Mar 16 12:36:21 CET 2013

On Mar 16, 2013, at 02:50 , Hin-Tak Leung wrote:

> I'll quantify the first part - R is perhaps the only public software project hosted on a subversion repository for which the result of 'svn export ...' does not build. Not only that it does not build, but make it a feature that it does not build.
> Very few other projects actively try to go in that direction.

It is not a design goal in any project that I know of, that svn exports should be equivalent to distribution tarballs. In simple projects, that might be the case, but requiring a "make dist" step is quite common before the final shipment. 

An actual design goal has been to ensure that snapshot builds carry an SVN revision number so that we can detect whether issues are reported on versions prior to a known fix. This is done via an "svn info" command because that was the path of least resistance (you can't really e.g. maintain the SVN-REVISION file in svn because it would need to change on every commit). There's no particular intention to hardwire SVN as the source code management tool, but as it happens to be what we use, that tiny subsystem of the build system has to be specific to SVN.

The generic point is that you are given access to a working tool that is internal to the core R developers. We are not putting restrictions on what you do with that access, but if you want to play the game by other rules than we do, you need to take the consequences. If things don't work and you start complaining about them being "broken", steps may be taken to make it clearer who broke them.

As Jari Oksanen put it recently:

"I think the rule is that you can do anything as long as you don't complain. If you want to complain, you must follow the instructions."

Peter D.

Peter Dalgaard, Professor,
Center for Statistics, Copenhagen Business School
Solbjerg Plads 3, 2000 Frederiksberg, Denmark
Phone: (+45)38153501
Email: pd.mes at cbs.dk  Priv: PDalgd at gmail.com

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