[ESS] I can not use install.packages

Marc Schwartz marc_schwartz at comcast.net
Thu Aug 7 05:32:59 CEST 2008

on 08/06/2008 09:54 PM Stephen Eglen wrote:
> Spencer Graves <spencer.graves at pdf.com> wrote:
>>      What operating system do you use? 
>>      I use Windows, and I have had the same problem for years.
>> However, I don't understand Emacs / Xemacs well enough to even
>> consider fixing it,  Moreover, I suspect that virtually all of the ESS
>> Gurus avoid Windows like the Black Death and are therefore largely
>> ignorant of the problem. 
> that's a good way of describing it!
> In my .Rprofile, I have:
> options(repos=c(CRAN="http://cran.uk.r-project.org/"),
>         papersize="a4")
> and I think if you do something similar, you'll not got asked for the
> repos location.  I'm not sure where .Rprofile is put on Windows; the
> closest I could see in the rw faq is that there should be a file
> R_HOME\etc\Rprofile.site which you can presumbly edit to store the
> repos.
> Stephen

My recollection, when this has come up previously, is that there is a 
Windows specific issue with tcl/tk 'windows' when running under 
[X]Emacs/ESS, resulting in the lack of function.

It does however, work on Linux. F9 in my case.

Thus, Stephen's recommendation is a good one, in that defining the repo 
in your .Rprofile removes the need to define a per session repo via the 
tcl/tk windows interaction.

It has been long enough now since I last ran Windows, but it seems to me 
that the local user-specific copy of .Rprofile was someplace in the 
user's "My Documents" folder tree. If you are not sharing this 
particular computer, it may be best to make your changes there, rather 
than in the site-wide file, which would be lost when upgrading to new 
versions of R.


Marc Schwartz

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