[Rd] Seeking advice regarding compilation of large libraries using RTools (Windows)

Jeroen Ooms jeroenooms at gmail.com
Mon Mar 6 11:51:53 CET 2017

On Mon, Mar 6, 2017 at 6:33 AM, Richard Beare <richard.beare at gmail.com> wrote:
> I am working on the SimpleITK package for R. This is an enormous package
> that is largely automatically generated via a set of swig/json/lua magic,
> and is working well under linux and osx.

Is it available somewhere so we can try it?

> However we're having a lot of trouble with the Windows side. In fact, we are struggling to get the base libraries to build using the RTools 3.4 toolchain, even before the worrying about the R-specific parts.

What build environment do you use? The version of gcc with Rtools
should be ok, but the Rtools build utilities in the "bin" folder (in
particular 'make') are old and a frequent source of problems. However
for building external libs you can use other tools, for example those
from msys2. Just make sure you use gcc/g++ from Rtools.

> The current issue is very long time (possibly infinite) linking of dlls, or
> test executables. I've tried using a FAT32 file system for the build, as
> suggested by some old bug reports, but still have the issue.

On Windows you can avoid the run-time dll mess by building static libs
of external libraries. See rwinlib for examples:

> Any suggestions on where to turn next? Are cross compilers the next step?

Try building with msys2, but make sure to use gcc/g++ from Rtools by
setting the `CC` and `CXX` variables in the configure script. Cross
compiling will make things even more complicated because binaries
might not be compatible if your cross compiler has a different version
of gcc or has been configured for another exception model (seh/drawf).

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