I'm mainly throwing this here to hopefully flag it to the attention of someone who works on the CRAN mirror, or is responsible for setting things up on the RStudio defaults.
I'm working with 650 first-year undergraduates getting RStudio installed on their personal laptop, so I get to see every way that something can fail. And this morning, something has failed in a way that should be avoidable:
- Try to install rmarkdown (install.packages)
- Directs to the CRAN mirror
- Insists on updating stringi
- Can't find stringi 1.5.3 ... 404 error
I check the cran.rstudio.com/bin/macosx/contrib/4.0/ ... and it's 404ing because it's NOT THERE.
So basically, having a package insist on an update to another package, and then directing to your mirror, but the mirror not actually having that version is really annoying. Especially for a first-year student who has no idea what this might be. And now I'm debugging dozens of Mac users, getting them to workaround the issue and explaining mirrors and repos to them.
Not sure what the solution is, if anything - I know mirroring takes time. But if there's going to be a cloud repo redirect managed by you folks, you can't let it ever not be fully up to date. A default doesn't work if it ... doesn't work.
Edit As of 12:42 stringi was compiled by CRAN and is of course available as a binary again. I think overall, though, this points to some very weird issue in the installation path - why does installing RMarkdown and then knitting force the installation of the latest stringi? As far as I can tell, the dependencies on rmarkdown 2.3 isn't stringi 1.5.6, so what happens to trigger that? And can it be avoided so we don't get windows where binaries aren't available. There's a lot of novice users for whom installation of Command Line Tools on Mac (or RTools on Windows) is a step too far.