[Rd] R 3.5.0 fails its regression test suite on Linux/x86_64

Martin Maechler maechler at stat.math.ethz.ch
Tue Apr 24 13:22:36 CEST 2018

>>>>> Peter Simons <simons at nospf.cryp.to>
>>>>>     on Tue, 24 Apr 2018 11:50:22 +0200 writes:

    > Duncan Murdoch writes:
    >>> ./configure --without-recommended-packages && make && make check
    >> So you're getting paid to do what you do, but you want the volunteers
    >> in R Core to do some work for you for free.

    > You are jumping to conclusions. Nobody pays me a single cent to package
    > R for Nix; I do that purely as a hobby.

    >>> If no-one wants to make those changes for whatever reason, then that's fine and
    >>> I'll just disable the test suite in NixOS to make the build succeed. I feel like
    >>> that would be a sub-optimal solution, though.
    >> I agree. You should spend some time working out a better one.

    > Well, you know, every so often, I reach out to people in a free software
    > community to make them aware of some issue I've run into. On some
    > occasions, members of those communities respond in a helpful and
    > friendly manner that impresses me because these people are obviously
    > thoughtful and issue-oriented and offer nuanced insight into the problem
    > I've brought up, and then I feel like it would be fun to interact with
    > those people to learn new stuff and maybe contribute something useful.
    > That's the point about volunteering, right? People do it because they
    > *enjoy it*, not because someone tells them to.

    > So, you go ahead and have a very nice day, Duncan.

... "easy easy", ...
Let's all be friendly and not imposing on others.

I can't speak for all of R core on this, but I agree with you,
Simon, that ideally  'make check' should work also when the unusual
option is
used.  As a matter of fact, it did work in most recent versions of R. 
I will make an effort to have it work again like that in R
3.5.1,  notably because I was crucial in breaking what
previously did work (when I introduced relatively comprehensive test code for
checking the newly introduced feature of correct deparsing of S4 objects).

Note however that 3.5.1 will most probably be many weeks away.

What should also be said :

We have had a public release cycle of about one month of
alpha testing, beta testing, release-canditate, etc,
and nobody has reported that problem.
I would think good netizens depending on R would do at least one
check of installing a pre-release.
(Debian has done so).

Lastly, let me add to what was said:  You can change your
procedures to easily workaround the issue, and as Dirk has
mentioned, Debian etc have adopted a more robust procedure for
packaging both R without rec.pkg. and the rec.pkg.s (and then
bundle the two in yet another).

Martin Maechler
ETH Zurich

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