Blog Archives

Compression Benchmarks: brotli, gzip, xz, bz2

November 26, 2015
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Brotli is a new compression algorithm optimized for the web, in particular small text documents. Brotli decompression is at least as fast as for gzip while significantly improving the compression ratio. The price we pay is that compression is much slower than gzip. Brotli is therefore most effective for serving static content...

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Sodium: A Modern and Easy-to-Use Crypto Library

October 18, 2015
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Sodium: A Modern and Easy-to-Use Crypto Library

This week a new package called sodium was released on CRAN. This package implements bindings to libsodium: a modern, easy-to-use software library for encryption, decryption, signatures, password hashing and more. Libsodium is actually a portable fork of Daniel Bernstein’s famous NaCL crypto library, which provides core operations needed to build...

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Curl 0.9.2: tweaks and proxies for windows

August 9, 2015
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Curl 0.9.2: tweaks and proxies for windows

Version 0.9.2 of curl has been released to CRAN. The curl package implements a modern and flexible web client for R and is the foundation for the popular httr package. This update includes mostly tweaks for Windows. Faster downloading Alex Deng from Microsoft had diagnosed a problem with curl_fetch_memory (which is used...

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Mongolite 0.5: authentication and iterators

July 28, 2015
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Mongolite 0.5: authentication and iterators

A new version of the mongolite package has appeared on CRAN. Mongolite builds on jsonlite to provide a simple, high-performance MongoDB client for R, which makes storing small or large data in a database as easy as converting it to/from JSON. Have a look at the vignette or

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OpenCPU Release 1.5

July 4, 2015
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OpenCPU Release 1.5

Following a few weeks of testing, OpenCPU 1.5 has been released. OpenCPU is a production-ready framework for embedded statistical computing with R. The system provides a neat API for remotely calling R functions over HTTP via e.g. JSON or P...

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Secure password hashing in R with bcrypt

June 18, 2015
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Secure password hashing in R with bcrypt

The new package bcrypt provides an R interface to the OpenBSD ‘blowfish’ password hashing algorithm described in A Future-Adaptable Password Scheme by Niels Provos. The implementation is derived from the py-bcrypt module for Python which is a wrapper for the OpenBSD implementation. Bcrypt is used for secure password hashing....

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HTTPS for CRAN: how and why

June 13, 2015
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HTTPS for CRAN: how and why

R gained some basic support for https in version 3.2.0 (see NEWS) via the method = "libcurl" argument in base functions download.file and url. The global option download.file.method is used to make this the default. Unfortunately the implementation has a few limitations: there is no way to set request options (authentication, proxy,...

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The curl package: a modern R interface to libcurl

June 8, 2015
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The curl package: a modern R interface to libcurl

TL;DR: Check out the vignette or the development version of httr. The package I put most time and effort in this year is curl. Last week version 0.8 was published on CRAN which fixes the last outstanding bug for Solaris. The package is pretty much...

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New package commonmark: yet another markdown parser?

June 2, 2015
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New package commonmark: yet another markdown parser?

Last week the commonmark package was released on CRAN. The package implements some very thin R bindings to John Macfarlane’s (author of pandoc) cmark library. From the cmark readme: cmark is the C reference implementation of CommonMark, a rationalized version of Markdown syntax with a spec. It provides a shared library...

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Getting started with MongoDB in R

May 14, 2015
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Getting started with MongoDB in R

The first stable version of the new mongolite package has appeared on CRAN. Mongolite builds on jsonlite to provide a simple, high-performance MongoDB client for R, which makes storing and accessing small or large data as easy as converting it ...

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