littler 0.3.8: Several nice new features

(This article was first published on Thinking inside the box , and kindly contributed to R-bloggers)

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The nineth release of littler as a CRAN package is now available, following in the thirteen-ish year history as a package started by Jeff in 2006, and joined by me a few weeks later.

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 for shebang scripting via #!, uses command-line arguments more consistently and still starts faster. It also always loaded the methods package which Rscript converted to only more 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!). See the FAQ vignette on how to add it to your PATH.

A few examples are highlighted at the Github repo, as well as in the examples vignette.

This release extends the support for options("Ncpus") to the scripts install.r and install2.r (which has docopt support) making installation of CRAN packages proceed in parallel and thus quite a bit faster. We also added a new script to run tests from the excellent tinytest package, made the rhub checking scripts more robust to the somewhat incomplete latex support there, and updated some documentation.

The NEWS file entry is below.

Changes in littler version 0.3.8 (2019-06-09)

  • Changes in examples

    • The install.r and install2.r scripts now use parallel installation using options("Ncpu") on remote packages.

    • The install.r script has an expanded help text mentioning the environment variables it considers.

    • A new script tt.t was added to support tinytest.

    • The rhub checking scripts now all suppress builds of manual and vignettes as asking for working latex appears to be too much.

  • Changes in package

    • On startup checks if r is in PATH and if not references new FAQ entry; text from Makevars mentions it too.
  • Changes in documentation

    • The FAQ vignette now details setting r to PATH.

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.

This post by Dirk Eddelbuettel originated on his Thinking inside the box blog. Please report excessive re-aggregation in third-party for-profit settings.

To leave a comment for the author, please follow the link and comment on their blog: Thinking inside the box .

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