R 2.15.3 is released

March 1, 2013

Follows is the announcement today from Peter Dalgaard, for the R Core Team:

The build system rolled up R-2.15.3.tar.gz (codename “Security Blanket”) at 9:00 this morning. This is intended to be the final round-up release of the 2.15 series, and in fact of the entire 2.x.y series which started 2004-10-04.

The list below details the changes in this release.

You can get the source code from


or wait for it to be mirrored at a CRAN site nearer to you.

Binaries for various platforms will appear in due course.

This is the relevant part of the NEWS file



o lgamma(x) for very small x (in the denormalized range) is no
longer Inf with a warning.

o image() now sorts an unsorted breaks vector, with a warning.

o The internal methods for tar() and untar() do a slightly more
general job for ‘ustar’-style handling of paths of more than 100

o Packages compiler and parallel have been added to the reference
index (refman.pdf).

o untar(tar = “internal”) has some support for pax headers as
produced by e.g. gnutar –posix (which seems prevalent on
OpenSUSE 12.2) or bsdtar –format pax, including long path and
link names.

o sQuote() and dQuote() now handle 0-length inputs. (Suggestion of
Ben Bolker.)

o summaryRprof() returns zero-row data frames rather than throw an
error if no events are recorded, for consistency.

o The included version of PCRE has been updated to 8.32.

o The tcltk namespace can now be re-loaded after unloading.

The Tcl/Tk event loop is inhibited in a forked child from package
parallel (as in e.g. mclapply()).

o parallel::makeCluster() recognizes the value random for the
environment variable R_PARALLEL_PORT: this chooses a random value
for the port and reduces the chance of conflicts when multiple
users start a cluster at the same time.


o The default for TAR on Windows for R CMD build has been changed
to be internal if no tar command is on the path.

This enables most packages to be built ‘out of the box’ without
Rtools: the main exceptions are those which need to be installed
to re-build vignettes and need Rtools for installation (usually
because they contain compiled code).


o On a 64-bit Windows platform with enough RAM, R_alloc can now
allocate up to just under 32GB like other 64-bit platforms.


o Use of col2rgb(0) is deprecated (see the help page for its

o The deprecated intensities component returned by hist() is no
longer recognized by the plot() method and will be removed in R

o real(), as.real() and is.real() are now formally deprecated and
give a warning.

o This is formal notice that the non-API EISPACK entry points in R
will be removed shortly.


o The configure tests for Objective C and Objective C++ now work on
Mac OS 10.8 with Xcode 4.5.2 (PR#15107).

o The cairo-based versions of X11() now work with current versions
of cairographics (e.g. 1.12.10). (PR#15168)

A workaround for earlier versions of R is to use X11.options(type
= “nbcairo”).

o Configuration and R CMD javareconf now come up with a smaller set
of library paths for Java on Oracle-format JDK (including
OpenJDK). This helps avoid conflicts between libraries (such as
libjpeg) supplied in the JDK and system libraries. This can
always be overridden if needed: see the ‘R Installation and
Administration’ manual.


o beta(a, b) could overflow to infinity in its calculations when
one of a and b was less than one. (PR#15075)

o lbeta(a, b) no longer gives NaN if a or b is very small (in the
denormalized range).

o bquote() is now able to substitute default arguments in
single-argument functions. (PR#15077)

o browseEnv(html = FALSE) would segfault if called from R (not
R.app) on a CRAN-style Mac OS X build of R.

o [[when RHS is used more than once. (PR#15098)

o On Windows, warnings about opening a file or pipe with a
non-ASCII description were sometimes output in UTF-8 rather than
in the current locale’s character set.

o The call() function did not duplicate its arguments. (PR#15115)

o TukeyHSD() could give NA results with some na.action methods such
as na.exclude(). (Hinted at on R-help by John Fox.)

o The deprecated svd(X, LINPACK = TRUE) could alter X in R
2.15.[12]. (Reported by Bill Dunlap.)

o Under Windows, file.link() and file.symlink() used the link name
twice, so would always fail. (Reported by Rui Barradas/Oliver

o summaryRprof(memory = “both”) mixed up the units of Vcells and
Ncells: it now works in bytes. (PR#15138)

o tools::Rd2HTML() would sometimes delete text. (PR#15134)

o plot() failed for “table” objects containing just one entry.

o embedFonts() needed to quote some filepaths. (PR#15149)

o parallel::mccollect() handled NULL returns incorrectly (removing
the element rather than setting it to NULL).

o The full reference index (fullrefman.pdf) was missing packages
compiler and parallel.

o The report for optim(method = “L-BFGS-B”, control = list(trace =
1)) reported the last completed and not the current iteration,
unlike other methods and trace levels. (PR#15103)

o qt(1e-12, 1.2) no longer gives NaN.

o dt(1e160, 1.2, log=TRUE) no longer gives -Inf.

o On Windows the untar() function now quotes the directory name
when using an external tar utility, so R CMD check will handle
pathnames containing spaces.

o The version for Windows 8 and Windows Server 2012 is now
displayed by win.version(). (Reported by Gabor Grothendieck.)

o The custom Windows installer target myR in the installer Makefile
did not work in 2.15.2. (Reported by Erich Neuwirth.)

o aperm(matrix(1:6, 2, dimnames=list(A={}, B={})), “A”) no longer

o Expressions involving user defined operators were not always
deparsed faithfully. (PR#15179)

o The enc2utf8() function converted NA_character_ to “NA” in
non-UTF-8 locales. (PR#15201)

o The exclude argument to xtabs() was ignored for “factor”

o On Windows, work around an event-timing problem when the RGui
console was closed from the ‘X’ control and the closure
cancelled. (This would on some 64-bit systems crash R, typically
those with a slow GPU relative to the CPU.)

o On unix Rscript will pass the r_arch setting it was compiled with
on to the R process so that the architecture of Rscript and that
of R will match unless overridden.


These are the md5sums for the freshly created files, in case you wish
to check that they are uncorrupted:

MD5 (AUTHORS) = cbf6da8f886ccd8d0dda0cc7ffd1b8ec
MD5 (COPYING) = eb723b61539feef013de476e68b5c50a
MD5 (COPYING.LIB) = a6f89e2100d9b6cdffcea4f398e37343
MD5 (FAQ) = c82ec3aa971272312ca6f3f28c58d329
MD5 (INSTALL) = 37adac6d0fbadf25b5a40e3f7535415e
MD5 (NEWS) = 09e5c175b09d33e28023c655a11e9b8d
MD5 (NEWS.html) = c7dccfe18e943427b85e9ddd1c7ba46b
MD5 (ONEWS) = 0c3e10eef74439786e5fceddd06dac71
MD5 (OONEWS) = b0d650eba25fc5664980528c147a20db
MD5 (R-latest.tar.gz) = b2f1a5d701f1f90679be0c60e1931a5c
MD5 (README) = 296871fcf14f49787910c57b92655c76
MD5 (RESOURCES) = c7cb32499ebbf85deb064aab282f93a4
MD5 (THANKS) = 7a87321ccf0ecd2bece697e39dce5e67
MD5 (R-2/R-2.15.3.tar.gz) = b2f1a5d701f1f90679be0c60e1931a5c


Peter Dalgaard, Professor
Center for Statistics, Copenhagen Business School



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