rOpenSci News Digest, March 2024

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Dear rOpenSci friends, it’s time for our monthly news roundup!

You can read this post on our blog. Now let’s dive into the activity at and around rOpenSci!

rOpenSci HQ

Leadership changes at rOpenSci

After 13 years at the helm of rOpenSci, our founding executive director Karthik Ram is stepping down. Noam Ross, rOpenSci’s current lead for peer review, will be our new Executive Director.
Karthik will remain a key advisor to rOpenSci. We thank him for his years of leadership and service to the community!

Read Karthik’s farewell post, and Noam’s post about his new role on our blog

rOpenSci Dev Guide 0.9.0: Multilingual Now! And Better

We’re delighted to announce we’ve released a new version of our guide, “rOpenSci Packages: Development, Maintenance, and Peer Review”!

A highlight is that our guide is now bilingual (English and Spanish), thanks to work by Yanina Bellini Saibene, Elio Campitelli and Pao Corrales, and thanks to support of the Chan Zuckerberg Initiative, NumFOCUS, and the R Consortium. Read the guide in Spanish.

Our guide is now also getting translated to Portuguese thanks to volunteers. We are very grateful for their work!

Read more in the blog post about the release. Thanks to all contributors who made this release possible.

Interview with Code for Thought podcast

Our community manager, Yanina Bellini Saibene, talked with Peter Schmidt of the Code for Thought podcast, about the importance of making computing materials accessible to non-English speaking learners. Listen to the episode. Find our more about rOpenSci multilingual publishing project.


Read all about coworking!

Join us for social coworking & office hours monthly on first Tuesdays! Hosted by Steffi LaZerte and various community hosts. Everyone welcome. No RSVP needed. Consult our Events page to find your local time and how to join.

And remember, you can always cowork independently on work related to R, work on packages that tend to be neglected, or work on what ever you need to get done!

Software 📦

New packages

The following three packages recently became a part of our software suite, or were recently reviewed again:

  • nuts, developed by Moritz Hennicke together with Werner Krause: Motivated by changing administrative boundaries over time, the nuts package can convert European regional data with NUTS codes between versions (2006, 2010, 2013, 2016 and 2021) and levels (NUTS 1, NUTS 2 and NUTS 3). The package uses spatial interpolation as in Lam (1983) doi:10.1559/152304083783914958 based on granular (100m x 100m) area, population and land use data provided by the European Commission’s Joint Research Center. It is available on CRAN. It has been reviewed by Pueyo-Ros Josep and Le Meur Nolwenn.

  • quadkeyr, developed by Florencia D’Andrea together with Pilar Fernandez: Quadkeyr functions generate raster images based on QuadKey-identified data, facilitating efficient integration of Tile Maps data into R workflows. In particular, Quadkeyr provides support to process and analyze Facebook mobility datasets within the R environment. It has been reviewed by Maria Paula Caldas and Vincent van Hees.

  • weatherOz, developed by Rodrigo Pires together with Anna Hepworth, Rebecca O’Leary, Jonathan Carroll, James Goldie, Dean Marchiori, Paul Melloy, Mark Padgham, Hugh Parsonage, Keith Pembleton, and Adam H. Sparks: Provides automated downloading, parsing and formatting of weather data for Australia through API endpoints provided by the Department of Primary Industries and Regional Development (DPIRD) of Western Australia and by the Science and Technology Division of the Queensland Governments Department of Environment and Science (DES). As well as the Bureau of Meteorology (BOM) of the Australian government precis and coastal forecasts, agriculture bulletin data, and downloading and importing radar and satellite imagery files. It has been reviewed by Laurens Geffert and Sam Rogers.

Discover more packages, read more about Software Peer Review.

New versions

The following nineteen packages have had an update since the last newsletter: frictionless (v1.0.3), aRxiv (0.10), cffr (v1.0.0), chromer (v0.8), drake (7.13.9), GSODR (v4.0.0), lightr (v1.7.1), lingtypology (v1.1.17), magick (2.8.3), melt (v1.11.2), nodbi (v0.10.4), nuts (v1.0.0), paleobioDB (v1.0.0), quadkeyr (v0.1.0), rtweet (v2.0.0), ruODK (v1.4.2), spocc (v1.2.3), tarchetypes (0.8.0), and targets (1.6.0).

Software Peer Review

There are thirteen recently closed and active submissions and 6 submissions on hold. Issues are at different stages:

Find out more about Software Peer Review and how to get involved.

On the blog

Software Review

Tech Notes

Calls for contributions

Calls for maintainers

If you’re interested in maintaining any of the R packages below, you might enjoy reading our blog post What Does It Mean to Maintain a Package?.

Calls for contributions

Also refer to our help wanted page – before opening a PR, we recommend asking in the issue whether help is still needed.

Package development corner

Some useful tips for R package developers. 👀

Reminder: R Consortium Infrastructure Steering Committee (ISC) Grant Program Accepting Proposals until April 1st!

The R Consortium Call for Proposal might be a relevant funding opportunity for your package! Find out more in their post. If you can’t prepare your proposal in time, the next call will start September 1st.

@examplesIf for conditional examples in package manuals

Do you know you can make some examples of your package manual conditional on, say, the session being interactive? The @examplesIf roxygen2 tag is really handy. What’s more, inside the examples of a single manual page, you can seamlessly mix and match @examples and @examplesIf pieces.

‘argument “..2” is missing, with no default’

Mike Mahoney posted an important PSA on Mastodon:

if you’re getting a new error message ‘argument “..2” is missing, with no default’ on #rstats 4.3.3, it’s likely because you have a trailing comma in a call to glue::glue() seeing this pop up in a few Slacks so figured I’d share

Thanks, Mike!

Useful hack: a CRAN-specific .Rbuildignore

The .Rbuildignore file lists the files to not be included when building your package, such as your pkgdown configuration file. Trevor L. Davis posted a neat idea on Mastodon: using a CRAN-specific .Rbuildignore, so that CRAN submissions omit some tests and vignettes to keep the package under the size limit.

Regarding tests themselves, remember you can skip some or all on CRAN (but make sure you’re running them on continuous integration!).

Key advantages of using the keyring package

If your package needs the user to provide secrets, like API tokens, to work, you might be interested in wrapping or recommending the keyring package (maintained by Gábor Csárdi), that accesses the system credential store from R. See this recent R-hub blog post.

A package for linting roxygen2 documentation

The compelling roxylint package by Doug Kelkhoff allows you to check some aspects of your roxygen2 docs, such as the use of full stops and sentence case. See the list of current rules.

Last words

Thanks for reading! If you want to get involved with rOpenSci, check out our Contributing Guide that can help direct you to the right place, whether you want to make code contributions, non-code contributions, or contribute in other ways like sharing use cases. You can also support our work through donations.

If you haven’t subscribed to our newsletter yet, you can do so via a form. Until it’s time for our next newsletter, you can keep in touch with us via our website and Mastodon account.

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