RcppArmadillo 0.2.37 and 0.2.38 released, but not on CRAN

March 28, 2012
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(This article was first published on Thinking inside the box , and kindly contributed to R-bloggers)

Conrad is readying his fabulous Armadillo C++ template library for linear algebra for a new 3.0.0 release, and started to make pre-releases. His version 2.99.1 came about a good week ago, it took us a few days to make a small required change in RcppArmadillo (which is our R package providing Armadillo to R via Rcpp) but our release 0.2.37 was ready last weekend.

But then the good folks at CRAN did not want it. That is at the same time disappointing to us as developers / maintainers: work we do will not get pushed to largest number of users immediately. On the other hand, we do understand that CRAN is under a lot of strain. Years ago John Fox demonstrated exponential growth of packages at CRAN, the rate was then around 40% per year. Right now the number of packages exceeds 3600, and there are often several dozen daily updates (which you can follow with the CRANberries service for html and rss I had set up years ago). And the three CRAN maintainers all have full-time jobs as academics, and they also happen to be busy R Core members. Plus the new R version 2.15.0 is to be released at the end of the week, and this usually entails a number of package changes, putting extra strain on CRAN right now. For more on new or updated CRAN policies, see this long thread.

Now, as I wrote on the rcpp-devel list, there is of course always install.packages("RcppArmadillo", repos="http://R-Forge.R-project.org") for a direct installation from R-Forge. But as I just put 0.2.38 there, it may take the running of the batch updates on the site so if you want it now, follow this link to my local Rcpp archive.

All that said, here are the NEWS entries for these two last releases:

0.2.38  2012-03-28

    o   Upgraded to Armadillo release 2.99.2 "Antarctic Chilli Ranch (Beta 2)"

          * added .i()
          * much faster handling of .col() and .row()
          * expressions X=A.i()*B and X=inv(A)*B are automatically converted
            to X=solve(A,B) 

0.2.37  2012-03-19

    o   Upgraded to Armadillo release 2.99.1 "Antarctic Chilli Ranch (Beta 1)"

          * added non-contiguous submatrix views
          * added hist() and histc()
          * faster handling of submatrix views
          * faster generation of random numbers
          * faster element access in fixed size matrices
          * better detection of vector expressions by sum(), cumsum(),
            prod(), min(), max(), mean(), median(), stddev(), var() 

As always, more detailed information is on the RcppArmadillo page. Questions, comments etc should go to the rcpp-devel mailing list off the R-Forge page.

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