[Rd] New version of Rtools for Windows

Duncan Murdoch murdoch.duncan at gmail.com
Fri Jan 9 18:19:39 CET 2015

On 09/01/2015 10:56 AM, Henric Winell wrote:
> On 2015-01-08 02:31, Duncan Murdoch wrote:
>> On 07/01/2015 5:20 PM, Jeroen Ooms wrote:
>>> On Wed, Jan 7, 2015 at 8:00 AM, Duncan Murdoch <murdoch.duncan at gmail.com> wrote:
>>>> This version includes only minor updates to the tools.  I indicated last summer that I was hoping to update GCC from the current version 4.6.3 before the R 3.2.0 release, but this now looks unlikely, unless someone else with experience building it can help.
>>> I have been looking into this a bit over the past few months, also
>>> with mixed success. Nevertheless, below some experiences that might be
>>> worth sharing.
>>> The guys from mingw-w64 recommended (quite strongly) to move away from
>>> multilib. They explained that the standard approach is to create two
>>> separate toolchains; one that targets win32 and the other one that
>>> targets win64 (both tool chains can compiled for win32). Hence the
>>> only difference for R would be that instead of passing "-m64" and
>>> "-m32", it would need to set the path to the proper compiler.
>>> There are several initiatives that provide very complete suites of
>>> precompiled mingw-w64 tools. I think the ideal scenario would be if we
>>> could take advantage of an existing tool chain as we do on other
>>> platforms, although perhaps I do not fully understand the R-specific
>>> requirements on the windows compiler.
>> I feel quite strongly that we need to be able to build the toolchain,
>> rather than relying on binaries produced by others.  We may need to
>> customize the toolchain, or we may need to rebuild it when a bug is
>> identified.  Lots of binary builders abandon their builds and you can't
>> count on them to solve problems at a later date.
>>> One project that looks very promising is msys2 [1,2]. It has a package
>>> manager (port of pacman from arch linux) and comes with a pretty
>>> complete set of msys [3] and other [4] packages that seems quite well
>>> maintained.
>> Do they post complete instructions for building?  That's what I'm
>> looking for.  I don't want to develop a build script (I don't know how),
>> but I would like to have one.
> Have you looked at nuwen's distro (http://nuwen.net/mingw.html)?  It's 
> up-to-date (mingw-w64 3.3.0, binutils 2.25, GCC 4.9.2, ...) and includes 
> the build scripts.

No, I hadn't come across that one.  It looks quite promising. Thanks!

I also have another offer of help to put this together; I'll wait to see
how that goes before announcing it.  But having two builds is better
than one.

Duncan Murdoch

> Henric
>> Duncan Murdoch
>>> The only issue I ran into with msys2 is that it uses a different c++
>>> exception model (seh/dwarf) than the current Rtools (which uses sjlj).
>>> See also [5]. Therefore, if a library uses exceptions, we cannot use
>>> the current Rtools to link a static library that was created with
>>> msys2  [6]. I am not sure if it also be a problem the other way
>>> around, and if this is still the case for recent versions of
>>> gcc/mingw.
>>> Finally, Ruby has build very similar to Rtools called DevKit-mingw64
>>> [7] that we might be able to borrow from.
>>> [1] https://msys2.github.io/
>>> [2] http://stackoverflow.com/questions/25019057/how-are-msys-msys2-and-msysgit-related-to-each-other
>>> [3] https://github.com/Alexpux/MSYS2-packages
>>> [4] https://github.com/Alexpux/MINGW-packages
>>> [5] http://stackoverflow.com/questions/15670169/what-is-difference-between-sjlj-vs-dwarf-vs-seh
>>> [6] http://stackoverflow.com/questions/7751640/undefined-reference-to-gxx-personality-sj0
>>> [7] http://rubyinstaller.org/downloads/
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