[Rd] Recent and upcoming changes to R-devel

Hervé Pagès hpages at fhcrc.org
Thu Jul 7 23:53:27 CEST 2011


On 11-07-04 05:08 AM, Prof Brian Ripley wrote:
> There was an R-core meeting the week before last, and various planned
> changes will appear in R-devel over the next few weeks.
> These are changes planned for R 2.14.0 scheduled for Oct 31. As we are
> sick of people referring to R-devel as '2.14' or '2.14.0', that version
> number will not be used until we reach 2.14.0 alpha.

Now with R-devel r56301:

   > R.version.string
   [1] "R Under development (unstable) (2011-07-06 r56301)"


   > R.Version()[c("major", "minor")]
   [1] "2"

   [1] "14.0"

   > R.version[c("major", "minor")]
   major 2
   minor 14.0

Not sure what's the benefit...

> You will be able to
> have a package depend on an svn version number when referring to R-devel
> rather than using R (>= 2.14.0).

Isn't it that R 2.13 patched and R devel share the same svn version
numbers? So using something like R (>= r56301) doesn't actually mean


> All packages are installed with lazy-loading (there were 72 CRAN
> packages and 8 BioC packages which opted out). This means that the code
> is always parsed at install time which inter alia simplifies the
> descriptions. R 2.13.1 RC warns on installation about packages which ask
> not to be lazy-loaded, and R-devel ignores such requests (with a warning).
> In the near future all packages will have a name space. If the sources
> do not contain one, a default NAMESPACE file will be added. This again
> will simplify the descriptions and also a lot of internal code.
> Maintainers of packages without name spaces (currently 42% of CRAN) are
> encouraged to add one themselves.
> R-devel is installed with the base and recommended packages
> byte-compiled (the equivalent of 'make bytecode' in R 2.13.x, but done
> less inefficiently). There is a new option
> R CMD INSTALL --byte-compile
> to byte-compile contributed packages, but that remains optional.
> Byte-compilation is quite expensive (so you definitely want to do it at
> install time, which requires lazy-loading), and relatively few packages
> benefit appreciably from byte-compilation. A larger number of packages
> benefit from byte-compilation of R itself: for example AER runs its
> checks 10% faster. The byte-compiler technology is thanks to Luke Tierney.
> There is support for figures in Rd files: currently with a first-pass
> implementation (thanks to Duncan Murdoch).

Hervé Pagès

Program in Computational Biology
Division of Public Health Sciences
Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center
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