littler 0.3.0 — on CRAN !!

By Thinking inside the box

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(This article was first published on Thinking inside the box , and kindly contributed to R-bloggers)

A new major release of littler is now available. And for the first time in the nine years since 2006 when Jeff started the effort (which I joined not long after) we are now a CRAN package.

This required a rewrite of the build system, foregoing the calls to aclocal, autoheader, automake and leaving just a simpler autoconf layer creating a configure script and a simple src/ Not only does R provide such a robust and well-understood build system (which I got to understand reasonably well given all my R packages, but being on CRAN and leveraging its mechanism for installation and upgrades is clearly worth the change.

There may be a moment or two of transition. While we can create a binary in an R package, we cannot (generally) copy to /usr/bin or /usr/local/bin as part of the build process (for lack of write-rights to those directories). So if you do not have r in the $PATH and load the package, it makes a suggestion (which needs a linebreak which I added here):

R> library(littler)
The littler package provides 'r' as a binary.
You could link to the 'r' binary installed in
'/usr/local/lib/R/site-library/littler/bin/r' from
'/usr/local/bin' in order to use 'r' for scripting.

Similarly, you could copy (or softlink) r to ~/bin if that is in your $PATH.

The Debian (and Ubuntu) packages will continue to provide /usr/bin/r as before. Note thah these packages will now be called r-cran-littler to match all other CRAN packages.

The NEWS file entry is below.

Changes in littler version 0.3.0 (2015-10-29)

  • Changes in build system

    • First CRAN Release as R package following nine years of source releases

    • Script configure, src/ and remainder of build system rewritten to take advantage of the R package build infrastructure

    • Reproducible builds are better supported as the (changing) compilation timestamps etc are only inserted for ‘verbose builds’ directly off the git repo, but not for Debian (or CRAN) builds off the release tarballs

  • Changes in littler functionality

    • Also source $R_HOME/etc/ and ~/.Rprofile if present

  • Changes in littler documentation

    • Added new vignette with examples

Full details for the littler release are provided as usual at the ChangeLog page.

The code is available via the GitHub repo, from tarballs off my littler page and the local directory here — and now of course all from its CRAN page and via install.packages("littler"). A fresh package has gone to the incoming queue at Debian where it will a few days as the binary packages was renamed from littler to r-cran-littler matching all other CRAN packages. Michael Rutter will probably have new Ubuntu binaries at CRAN once the source package gets into Debian proper.

Comments and suggestions are welcome at the GitHub repo.

This post by Dirk Eddelbuettel originated on his Thinking inside the box blog. Please report excessive re-aggregation in third-party for-profit settings.

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