[Rd] Upgrading a package to which other packages are LinkingTo

Dirk Eddelbuettel edd at debian.org
Fri Dec 16 16:40:25 CET 2016

On 16 December 2016 at 10:14, Duncan Murdoch wrote:
| On 16/12/2016 8:37 AM, Dirk Eddelbuettel wrote:
| >
| > On 16 December 2016 at 08:20, Duncan Murdoch wrote:
| > | Perhaps the solution is to recommend that packages which export their
| > | C-level entry points either guarantee them not to change or offer
| > | (require?) version checks by user code.  So dplyr should start out by
| > | saying "I'm using Rcpp interface 0.12.8".  If Rcpp has a new version
| > | with a compatible interface, it replies "that's fine".  If Rcpp has
| > | changed its interface, it says "Sorry, I don't support that any more."
| >
| > We try. But it's hard, and I'd argue, likely impossible.
| >
| > For example I even added a "frozen" package [1] in the sources / unit tests
| > to test for just this. In practice you just cannot hit every possible access
| > point of the (rich, in our case) API so the tests pass too often.
| >
| > Which is why we relentlessly test against reverse-depends to _at least ensure
| > buildability_ from our releases.

I meant to also add:  "... against a large corpus of other packages."
The intent is to empirically answer this.

| > As for seamless binary upgrade, I don't think in can work in practice.  Ask
| > Uwe one day we he rebuilds everything every time on Windows. And for what it
| > is worth, we essentially do the same in Debian.
| >
| > Sometimes you just need to rebuild.  That may be the price of admission for
| > using the convenience of rich C++ interfaces.
| >
| Okay, so would you say that Kirill's suggestion is not overkill?  Every 
| time package B uses LinkingTo: A, R should assume it needs to rebuild B 
| when A is updated?

Based on my experience is a "halting problem" -- i.e. cannot know ex ante.

So "every time" would be overkill to me.  Sometimes you know you must
recompile (but try to be very prudent with public-facing API).  Many times
you do not. It is hard to pin down.

At work we have a bunch of servers with Rcpp and many packages against them
(installed system-wide for all users). We _very really_ needs rebuild.  


http://dirk.eddelbuettel.com | @eddelbuettel | edd at debian.org

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