[Rd] Offer zip builds

Simon Urbanek @|mon@urb@nek @end|ng |rom R-project@org
Fri Jun 7 17:10:14 CEST 2019

Just to add to that point - it is expected that the registry is appropriately updated so the correct version of R can be located. Just unpacking a ZIP won't work in general since tools using R have no reliable way to find it.


> On Jun 6, 2019, at 6:33 AM, Jeroen Ooms <jeroen using berkeley.edu> wrote:
> On Tue, Jun 4, 2019 at 5:40 PM Steven Penny <svnpenn using gmail.com> wrote:
>> Theres nothing nefarious here. It would allow people to use the R environment
>> without running an installer. If someone is a new user they may want to try
>> R out, and installers can be invasive as they commonly:
>> - copy files to install dir
>> - copy files to profile dir
>> - set registry entries
>> - set environment variables
>> - set start menu entries
>> and historically uninstallers have a bad record of reverting these changes.
>> should not put this burden upon new users or even having them resort to virtual
>> machine to avoid items above. having a ZIP file allows new users to run the
>> R environment, then if they like it perhaps they can run the installer going
>> forward.
> This is a valid suggestion, but probably impossible to do reliably.
> Most installers (the R one is completely open source btw) perform
> those steps for a reason. It is great if software can be installed
> simply by extracting a zip file somewhere, but if this is what you
> desire, you're using the wrong operating system.
> We only offer official installation options that work 100% reliably
> and I don't think this can be accomplished with a zip file. For
> example a zip file won't be able to set the installation location in
> the registry, and hence other software such as RStudio won't be able
> to find the R installation. Also a zip installation might mix up
> package libraries from different R versions (which is bad), or users
> might expect they can upgrade R by overwriting their installation with
> a new zip (also bad). Hence I'm afraid offering such alternative
> installation options would open a new can of worms with bug reports
> from Windows users with broken installations, or packages that don't
> work as expected.
> As for alternatives, 'rportable' and 'innoextract' have already been
> mentioned if you really just want to dump the files from the
> installer, if that works for you. Another popular option to install
> (any) Windows software without manually running installers is using
> chocolatey, for example:
>  choco install miktex
>  choco install r.project
> This will still indirectly use official installers, but the installers
> have been verified as "safe" by external folks and the installation is
> completely automated. Perhaps that's another compromise you could live
> with.
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