Read the Docs 2.8.x documentation build is failing

Issue #411 wontfix
Matthew Plough
created an issue

The version_2.8.x documentation build on Read the Docs has been failing for the last 8 months.

The build most recently passed on September 4, 2016.

The build fails almost immediately at the python install --force step with the following error:

Error: Tried to guess R's HOME but no command 'R' in the PATH.

Comments (9)

  1. Matthew Plough reporter

    I'd love to submit a PR to take care of this but it appears that the build plan used on Read the Docs isn't part of the repository, so I don't think that's a possibility. Could you take a look at the build plan or add me as an owner on Read the Docs?

  2. Laurent Gautier

    Building the doc on Read the Docs has been broken one way or the other since day one because of this. It used to build partially using the .rst files, with the docstrings and the class hierarchy figures missing but it finally stopped working at all 8 months ago.

    To my knowledge there is no "build plan" in Read The Docs (I am happy to be proven wrong though), but I think it possible to delegate the building of the documentation to a third-party server. I have been contemplating working this out, or just moving the doc away from Read the Docs and go back to building the doc locally and uploading the build) but lacked the time to work on it.

    A short-term patch might be to see whether mocking can be used to restore the earlier state of partial building (

  3. Matthew Plough reporter

    That page on the import errors was very helpful, thanks — now I understand what was going on with the doc build errors. I don’t see a possibility for a custom build plan there either. The mocking concept sounds promising but it would be great if using third-party infrastructure could make the mocks unnecessary.

    In order to better understand the doc build process, I attempted to build the default branch's docs locally using the Conda environment in doc/conda_environment.yml (awesome addition btw). The docs build but I get errors relating to libicuuc.54.dylib. I’m sort of confused as to why, since conda list shows that icu is installed and a listing shows that ~/miniconda2/envs/rpy2-environment/./lib/libicuuc.54.dylib exists. I’ve attached the build errors to the ticket.

    I started looking at building docs in the rpy2 Docker image, figuring that I might not get the errors there. I found that the prompt would appear at an increasing column offset, not at the first offset (on OSX/iTerm2). That kind of thing makes interactive prototyping difficult, so I wouldn't consider it as a viable alternative to purely local environment at this point.

  4. Matthew Plough reporter

    Update on the Docker image: My normal Docker images do it too now, so it looks like this was caused by a beta Docker rather than the image itself. Will re-try this method when I have time.

  5. Laurent Gautier

    I looked again at the options with ReadTheDocs, and I do not want to chase library linking issues with conda.This would leave rpy2 with moving away from ReadTheDocs: while it is really nice to build sphinx documentation, rpy2 seems to be too exotic compared to others projects built and hosted on ReadTheDocs.

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