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:
This release updates a few of examples scripts. One nice change is the most-excellent docopt package for command-line parsing no longer needs stringr and hence stringi for its operations, making our command-line scripts really lightweight as they now need only the (small) docopt package—thanks to Edwin de Jonge for all his work on that package. Also, Brandon Berterlsen contributed a script (which we later reduced to an option of an existing script) to only install not-yet-installed packages.
NEWS file entry is below.
Changes in littler version 0.3.4 (2018-08-24)
Changes in examples
The shebang line is now
#!/usr/bin/env rto work with either
New example script to only install packages not yet installed (Brandon Bertelsen in #59); later added into
getRStudioServer.rupdated their internal URLs.
Several minor enhancements were made to example scripts.
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.