[Rd] Appetite for eliminating dependency on Perl

peter dalgaard pd@|gd @end|ng |rom gm@||@com
Fri Aug 9 10:37:54 CEST 2019

Dunno about runtime. We used to have much more - all the Rdconv stuff used to be based on pattern matching by Perl scripts, but they were converted to R scripts and later to use proper parsers. 

For building, if you ever need to regenerate a configure script or write your own for a package, notice that aclocal & friends are Perl scripts. 


> On 9 Aug 2019, at 00:37 , Ken Williams <kenahoo using gmail.com> wrote:
> Preamble: I am in no way opposed to Perl in general - I love Perl and
> probably always will.
> R currently has Perl as both a build-time and run-time dependency.  This
> adds about 200 Mb, give or take, to the required environment size (as
> measured in CentOS - looks like it might be a bit smaller in Ubuntu?).
> Not such a huge deal, really, but the actual benefit R gets from the
> dependency is quite small.  From my poking around in the R sources (using
> `git grep -P '\bperl\b(?! ?= ?(?:TRUE|FALSE))' ` as a filter), it looks
> like it's only used in the following nooks & crannies:
> * tools/help2man.pl
> * tools/install-info.pl
> * configure:      INSTALL_INFO="perl \$(top_srcdir)/tools/install-info.pl"
> * m4/R.m4:      INSTALL_INFO="perl \$(top_srcdir)/tools/install-info.pl"
> Ultimately that's only two scripts.  `help2man.pl` seems like it's part of
> the build process, but not used at runtime.  `install-info.pl` seems like
> maybe it's runnable at runtime, but requires user initiation to run, at
> which point the user is expected to have perl installed.  Either one of
> them could probably be ported to another language pretty easily, maybe even
> R.
> Anything else I missed?
> If someone were to volunteer the porting work, would there be any appetite
> for eliminating the dependency?
>  -Ken
> 	[[alternative HTML version deleted]]
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Peter Dalgaard, Professor,
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