**Revolutions**, and kindly contributed to R-bloggers)

As scheduled, the first release of the new R 2.14 series is now available for download in source code form. As of this writing, pre-compiled binaries for Windows, Linux and MacOS aren't yet available, but will appear on your local CRAN mirror in the next couple of days.

One of the biggest changes in 2.14 is the introduction of the new "parallel" package as a standard part of R. As the NEWS file explains:

[The parallel package] incorporates (slightly revised) copies of packages multicore and snow (excluding MPI, PVM and NWS clusters). Code written to use the higher-level API functions in those packages should work unchanged (apart from changing any references to their namespaces to a reference to parallel, and links explicitly to multicore or snow on help pages).

In addition, all of the standard (base and recommended) R packages are now byte-compiled on installation, which improves R's performance in several situations.

Other improvements include better alignment of math and text in graphics, Rao's efficient score test for GLM's, the ability to draw curves from functions with plot.function, a new L'Ecuyer random number generator, improved access to documentation (especially vignettes), and several minor bug-fixes.

With R now on an annual (rather than six-monthly) update cycle, R 2.15 is not expected until October 2012 (with point releases for the 2.14.x series likely in the interim).

R-announce mailing list: R 2.14.0 is released

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