[R] The steps of building library in R 2.1.1

Peter Dalgaard p.dalgaard at biostat.ku.dk
Fri Jul 22 00:01:18 CEST 2005

Duncan Murdoch <murdoch at stats.uwo.ca> writes:

> On 7/21/2005 9:43 AM, Gabor Grothendieck wrote:
> > I think you have been using R too long.  Something like
> > this is very much needed.  There are two problems:
> > 
> > 1. the process itself is too complex (need to get rid of perl,
> >     integrate package development tools with package installation 
> >    procedure [it should be as easy as downloading a package], 
> >    remove necessity to set or modify any environment variables
> >     including the path variables).
> I agree with some of this, but I don't see much interest in fixing it.
> For example, getting rid of Perl would be a lot of work.  When the Perl 
> scripts were written, R was not capable of doing what they do.  I think 
> it is capable now, but there's still a huge amount of translation work 
> to do.  Who will do that?  Who will test that they did it right?  At the 
> end, will it actually have been worth all the trouble?  Installing Perl 
> is not all that hard.

Another point of view is that the issue is that we cannot ship a full
set of build tools with R on Windows, the main obstacle being that
Active Perl has redistribution restrictions. 

If we could be sure that the build tools were present, then we could
start thinking about smoothing out the package creation process using
GUI tools or whatnot.

In principle, it is ridiculous if every application ships with its own
development environment, compilers and all, but hey! we're not the
ones who invented Windows...

So how hard would it be to build Perl from sources? We do that with
Tcl already. (Actually, there is an unencumbered Perl called SiePerl,
which was used in the GnuWin project. Wouldn't know if it's any good,
and GnuWin itself seems to be headless these days.)

Of course someone needs to maintain it all, but that might not  really
be much harder than what we already do.

   O__  ---- Peter Dalgaard             Øster Farimagsgade 5, Entr.B
  c/ /'_ --- Dept. of Biostatistics     PO Box 2099, 1014 Cph. K
 (*) \(*) -- University of Copenhagen   Denmark          Ph:  (+45) 35327918
~~~~~~~~~~ - (p.dalgaard at biostat.ku.dk)                  FAX: (+45) 35327907

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