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R 3.2.1 (codename “World-Famous Astronaut”) was released yesterday. You can get the latest binaries version from here. (or the .tar.gz source code from here). The full list of new features and bug fixes is provided below.

Upgrading to R 3.2.1 on Windows

If you are using Windows you can easily upgrade to the latest version of R using the installr package. Simply run the following code in Rgui:

 install.packages("installr") # install installr::updateR() # updating R.

Running “updateR()” will detect if there is a new R version available, and if so it will download+install it (etc.). There is also a step by step tutorial (with screenshots) on how to upgrade R on Windows, using the installr package.

I try to keep the installr package updated and useful, so if you have any suggestions or remarks on the package – you are invited to open an issue in the github page.

CHANGES IN R 3.2.1:

NEW FEATURES

• utf8ToInt() now checks that its input is valid UTF-8 and returns NA if it is not.
• install.packages() now allows type = "both" with repos = NULL if it can infer the type of file.
• nchar(x, *) and nzchar(x) gain a new argument keepNA which governs how the result for NAs in x is determined. For the R 3.2.x series, the default remains FALSE which is fully back compatible. From R 3.3.0, the default will change to keepNA = NA and you are advised to consider this for code portability.
• news() more flexibly extracts dates from package ‘NEWS.Rd’ files.
• lengths(x) now also works (trivially) for atomic x and hence can be used more generally as an efficient replacement of sapply(x, length) and similar.
• The included version of PCRE has been updated to 8.37, a bug-fix release.
• diag() no longer duplicates a matrix when extracting its diagonal.
• as.character.srcref() gains an argument to allow characters corresponding to a range of source references to be extracted.

BUG FIXES

• acf() and ccf() now guarantee values strictly in [-1,1] (instead of sometimes very slightly outside). PR#15832.
• as.integer("111111111111") now gives NA (with a warning) as it does for the corresponding numeric or negative number coercions. Further, as.integer(M + 0.1) now gives M (instead of NA) when M is the maximal representable integer.
• On some platforms nchar(x, "c") and nchar(x, "w") would return values (possibly NA) for inputs which were declared to be UTF-8 but were not, or for invalid strings without a marked encoding in a multi-byte locale, rather than give an error. Additional checks have been added to mitigate this.
• apply(a, M, function(u) c(X = ., Y = .)) again has dimnames containing “X” and “Y” (as in R < 3.2.0).
• (Windows only) In some cases, the --clean option to R CMD INSTALL could fail. (PR#16178)
• (Windows only) choose.files() would occasionally include characters from the result of an earlier call in the result of a later one. (PR#16270)
• A change in RSiteSearch() in R 3.2.0 caused it to submit invalid URLs. (PR#16329)
• Rscript and command line R silently ignored incomplete statements at the end of a script; now they are reported as parse errors. (PR#16350)
• Parse data for very long strings was not stored. (PR#16354)
• plotNode(), the workhorse of the plot method for "dendrogram"s is no longer recursive, thanks to Suharto Anggono, and hence also works for deeply nested dendrograms. (PR#15215)
• The parser could overflow internally when given numbers in scientific format with extremely large exponents. (PR#16358)
• If the CRAN mirror was not set, install.packages(type = "both") and related functions could repeatedly query the user for it. (Part of PR#16362)
• The low-level functions .rowSums() etc. did not check the length of their argument, so could segfault. (PR#16367)
• The quietly argument of library() is now correctly propagated from .getRequiredPackages2().
• Under some circumstances using the internal PCRE when building R fron source would cause external libs such as -llzma to be omitted from the main link.
• The .Primitive default methods of the logic operators, i.e., !, & and |, now give correct error messages when appropriate, e.g., for &(TRUE) or !(). (PR#16385)
• cummax(x) now correctly propagates NAs also when x is of type integer and begins with an NA.
• summaryRprof() could fail when the profile contained only two records. (PR#16395)
• HTML vignettes opened using vignette() did not support links into the rest of the HTML help system. (Links worked properly when the vignette was opened using browseVignettes() or from within the help system.)
• arima(*, xreg = .) (for d >= 1) computes estimated variances based on a the number of effective observations as in R version 3.0.1 and earlier. (PR#16278)
• slotNames(.) is now correct for "signature" objects (mostly used internally in methods).
• On some systems, the first string comparison after a locale change would result in NA.