[Rd] Is it possible to make install.packages compile source code on Unix but use shipped binary on Windows?

Renaud Gaujoux renaud at mancala.cbio.uct.ac.za
Thu Jun 19 09:16:43 CEST 2014

Hi Martyn,

> It isn't hard to set up Rtools on Windows and you only need to do it
> once. Then you build a binary package on your development system to
> distribute to your users.

Yes, but since I am working on Linux, it is slightly more steps
involved in order to generate a windows binary (even using a virtual
machine), compared to build and push source packages to my repository,
for which I have shell scripts and make files that do that in seconds
and in batch mode. When working in a fast bug fix-test cycle with
windows users testing things out often times a day, these extra steps
take much time overall.

> Without even considering any technical details there is a purely
> strategic issue here. If a system has been set up that is robust and
> widely tested, like the R packaging system, you are much better off
> working with it than trying to subvert it.

Agreed completely. I really like R cross-platform packaging and
checking system, and was just wondering if this conditional
compilation option was possible using the flexibility of this very


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