parallelly 1.32.0: makeClusterPSOCK() Didn’t Work with Chinese and Korean Locales

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parallelly 1.32.0 is on CRAN. This release fixes an important bug that affected users running with the Simplified Chinese, Traditional Chinese (Taiwan), or Korean locale. The bug caused makeClusterPSOCK(), and therefore also future::plan("multisession"), to fail with an error. For other updates, please see NEWS.

The parallelly package enhances the parallel package – our built-in R package for parallel processing – by improving on existing features and by adding new ones. Somewhat simplified, parallelly provides the things that you would otherwise expect to find in the parallel package. The future package relies on the parallelly package internally for local and remote parallelization.

Important bug fix for Chinese and Korean users

It turns out that makeClusterPSOCK() has never[1] worked for users that have their computers set to use a Korean (LANGUAGE=ko), a Simplified Chinese (LANGUAGE=zh_CN), or a Traditional Chinese (Taiwan) (LANGUAGE=zh_TW) locale. For example,

cl <- parallelly::makeClusterPSOCK(2)
#> 错误: ‘node$session_info$process$pid == pid’ is not TRUE
#> 此外: Warning message:
#> In add_cluster_session_info(cl[ii]) : 强制改变过程中产生了NA

The workaround was to pass validate = FALSE, e.g.

cl <- parallelly::makeClusterPSOCK(2, validate = FALSE)

This bug was because of an internal assertion that made incorrect assumptions about what print() for SOCK0node and SOCKnode object would output. It worked with most locales, but not with the above three. I have fixed this in the most recent release of parallelly.

Since the ‘multisession’ strategy of the future framework relies on makeClusterPSOCK(), this bug affected also the future package, e.g.

#> 에러: 'node$session_info$process$pid == pid' is not TRUE
#> 추가정보: 경고메시지(들): 
#> add_cluster_session_info(cl[ii])에서: 강제형변환에 의해 생성된 NA 입니다

So, if you run into these errors, upgrade to the latest version of parallelly, e.g. update.packages(), restart R, and it will work as you would expect.

To prevent this from happening again, I am now making sure to always check the package with also these locales, in addition to English. CRAN already checks packages with different English and German locales.

I am sorry, 对不起, 미안해요, about this. Hopefully, it’ll work smoother from now on.

Happy parallelization!

[1] The last time it worked was with future 1.4.0 (2017-03-13), when this function was still part of the future package.

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