littler 0.3.6: Two neat enhancements

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The seventh release of littler as a CRAN package is now available, following in the now more than twelve-year history as a package started by Jeff in 2006, and joined by me a few weeks later.

littler is the first command-line interface for R and predates Rscript. And it is (in my very biased eyes) better as it allows for piping as well shebang scripting via #!, uses command-line arguments more consistently and still starts faster. It also always loaded the methods package which Rscript converted to rather recently.

littler lives on Linux and Unix, has its difficulties on macOS due to yet-another-braindeadedness there (who ever thought case-insensitive filesystems as a default where a good idea?) and simply does not exist on Windows (yet – the build system could be extended – see RInside for an existence proof, and volunteers are welcome!).

A few examples as highlighted at the Github repo, as well as in the examples vignette.

This release brings updates to the two (or three) scripts I use all the time to install or update packages. First, install.r (and install2.r) now recognise when they are in a source directory and will do the right thing when called without an argument there. They also recognise . in that. Second, Colin sent in a nice PR to use Ncpus for package installation in install2.r, which I then carried over to update.r. Now, if you add, say, options(Ncpus=4), to you startup file, installations and upgrade will operate in parallel which is nice. (That also made me realize that R had a microbug for which I sent this patch now in R-devel.) Lastly, we also started a new (and still very small) FAQ vignette about littler.

The NEWS file entry is below.

Changes in littler version 0.3.6 (2019-01-26)

  • Changes in examples

    • The scripts install.r and install2.r now support argument ".", and add it if called in a source directory.

    • The script install2.r can set Ncpus for install.packages() (Colin Gillespie in #63 fixing #62)

    • The script update.r can also set Ncpus for install.packages().

    • A new vignette “litter-faq” was added.

CRANberries provides a comparison to the previous release. Full details for the littler release are provided as usual at the ChangeLog page. The code is available via the GitHub repo, from tarballs and now of course all from its CRAN page and via install.packages("littler"). Binary packages are available directly in Debian as well as soon via Ubuntu binaries at CRAN thanks to the tireless Michael Rutter.

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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