Rcpp 1.0.3: More Spit and Polish

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The third maintenance release 1.0.3 of Rcpp, following up on the 10th anniversary and the 1.0.0. release both pretty much exactly one year ago, arrived on CRAN yesterday. This deserves a special shoutout to Uwe Ligges who was even more proactive and helpful than usual. Rcpp is a somewhat complex package with many reverse dependencies, and both the initial check tickles one (grandfathered) NOTE, and the reverse dependencies typically invoke a few false positives too. And in both cases did he move the process along before I even got around to replying to the auto-generated emails. So just a few hours passed between my upload, and the Thanks, on its way to CRAN email—truly excellent work of the CRAN team. Windows and macOS binaries are presumably being built now. The corresponding Debian package was also uploaded as a source package, and binaries have since been built.

Just like for Rcpp 1.0.1 and Rcpp 1.0.2, we have a four month gap between releases which seems appropriate given both the changes still being made (see below) and the relative stability of Rcpp. It still takes work to release this as we run multiple extensive sets of reverse dependency checks so maybe one day we will switch to six month cycle. For now, four months seem like a good pace.

Rcpp has become the most popular way of enhancing R with C or C++ code. As of today, 1832 packages on CRAN depend on Rcpp for making analytical code go faster and further, along with 190 in BioConductor. And per the (partial) logs of CRAN downloads, we are currently running at 1.1 millions downloads per month.

This release features a number of different pull requests by five different contributors as detailed below.

Changes in Rcpp version 1.0.3 (2019-11-08)

  • Changes in Rcpp API:

    • Compilation can be sped up by skipping Modules headers via a toggle RCPP_NO_MODULES (Kevin in #995 for #993).

    • Compilation can be sped up by toggling RCPP_NO_RTTI which implies RCPP_NO_MODULES (Dirk in #998 fixing #997).

    • XPtr tags are now preserved in as<> (Stephen Wade in #1003 fixing #986, plus Dirk in #1012).

    • A few more temporary allocations are now protected from garbage collection (Romain Francois in #1010, and Dirk in #1011).

  • Changes in Rcpp Modules:

    • Improved initialization via explicit Rcpp:: prefix (Riccardo Porreca in #980).
  • Changes in Rcpp Deployment:

    • A unit test for Rcpp Class exposure was updated to not fail under r-devel (Dirk in #1008 fixing #1006).
  • Changes in Rcpp Documentation:

    • The Rcpp-modules vignette received a major review and edit (Riccardo Porreca in #982).

    • Minor whitespace alignments and edits were made in three vignettes following the new pinp release (Dirk).

    • New badges for DOI and CRAN and BioConductor reverse dependencies have been added to README.md (Dirk).

    • Vignettes are now included pre-made (Dirk in #1005 addressing #1004)).

    • The Rcpp FAQ has two new entries on ‘no modules / no rtti’ and exceptions across shared libraries (Dirk in #1009).

Thanks to CRANberries, you can also look at a diff to the previous release. Questions, comments etc should go to the rcpp-devel mailing list off the R-Forge page. Bugs reports are welcome at the GitHub issue tracker as well (where one can also search among open or closed issues); questions are also welcome under rcpp tag at StackOverflow which also allows searching among the (currently) 2255 previous questions.

If you like this or other open-source work I do, you can now sponsor me at GitHub. For the first year, GitHub will match your contributions.

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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