- Some people think that they need to install the arrow package and then call install_arrow... which just installs the package again. A number of packages with external dependencies (python, etc.) have this pattern, so it's understandable why people are confused.
- If installation fails, you get the arrow-without-arrow package, which tells you to run install_arrow. This was reasonable advice when we first got on CRAN and the CRAN version did not build the C++ library but install_arrow would. But now that installation from CRAN will try to build the C++ library, if installation failed the first time, it will probably fail the second time too. Some possible improvements: (1) don't recommend install_arrow in that error message; (2) set ARROW_R_DEV=true in install_arrow for verbosity, detect if installation failed, and direct the user to report the full logs if it did; (3) if the user is on centos-7, print a special message pointing to the installation troubleshooting.
- The linux installation vignette's troubleshooting section should prominently recommend retrying with ARROW_R_DEV=true and reporting the logs in your bug report. It's usually the first thing I ask in response to a bug report.