[R] historic(al) algorithms in R

J C Nash profjcn@@h @ending from gm@il@com
Tue Jul 24 14:19:59 CEST 2018

R users may or may not be aware of the long history of some of the codes
and algorithms used by base R and by packages. There is a small effort
under way to try to document and improve understanding of these, and
R Consortium has allocated some funds. We've now got a Working Group
and some preliminary documents / examples, but would welcome wider
participation, and an invitation to participate or even just lurk on
the project follows. We especially welcome younger workers so the
understanding of older codes and languages can be passed on.

John Nash


The histoRicalg project is a modest effort to try to document the
older, historic algorithms that underpin R. Some other computational
environments (NumPy, Octave, Gnu Scientific Library, etc.) likely
have similar codes. However, such numerical tools are often written
or at least presented in Fortran or other older programming
languages. The R-Consortium has granted us a small amount of money
for this activity.

This is an invitation to join a small group of workers who hope
to share information and expertise so the methods are documented
and the understanding of older program code is passed on.

Our activities live on Gitlab as a file repository at


and a wiki at


We have a mailing list that is based at


If you work with older algorithms or have relevant expertise, please
join us, even if you plan only to lurk on the list or gitlab site
and may only kibbitz from time to time. This is an activity that
requires a modest input from those with a wide range of knowledge
and backgrounds rather than intense effort by a very few.


The histoRicalg Working Group

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