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R Weekly 2017 Issue 9


R in the Real World

  • Who is Alan Turing? - Last September, the British government announced its intention to pursue what has become known as the Alan Turing law.

  • Putting It All Together - The U.S. labor force participation rate (LFPR) is an oft-overlooked and under- or mis-reported economic indicator.

Putting It All Together


On Watering Holes, Trust, Defensible Systems and Data Science Community Security

R Internationally

R in Organizations

R in Academia


Factoextra R Package: Easy Multivariate Data Analyses and Elegant Visualization

Videos and Podcasts


  • RStudio Extensions - An R Markdown website that documents the various ways users can extend the RStudio IDE.

New Packages and Tools

  • Prophet - Prophet is a forecasting procedure implemented in R and Python. It is fast and provides completely automated forecasts that can be tuned by hand by data scientists and analysts.


  • startup - Friendly R startup configuration with multiple files under .Rprofile.d/ and .Renviron.d/ that can be conditionally included / excluded based on their filenames and R features available.

  • ggimage - Supports aesthetic mapping of image files to be visualized in ‘ggplot2’ graphic system.


  • SentimentAnalysis - Dictionary-based sentiment analysis

  • strcode - Structure and abstract your code. The strcode package contains tools to organize your code better. It consists of an RStudio Add-in to divide code into sections and a function to get a summary of a codebase.

  • More January Package Picks

  • ggraph - A grammar of graphics for relational data


  • RcppMLPACK2 - RcppMLPACK2 and the MLPACK Machine Learning Library

New Releases

R Project Updates

Updates from R Core:

  • Encoding name "utf8"is mapped to "UTF-8". Many implementations of iconv accept "utf8", but not GNU libiconv(including the current version 1.15).

  • (C-level Native routine registration.) The undocumented styles field of the components of R_CMethodDefand R_FortranMethodDef is deprecated.

  • Fix for cairo_pdf() (and svg() and cairo_ps()) when replaying saved display list that contains mix of grid and graphics output. Thanks to Yihui Xie.

  • (C-level Native routine registration.) The deprecated styles component of R_CMethodDef and R_FortranMethodDef no longer does anything.

  • sessionInfo() shows the full paths to the library or executable files providing the BLAS/LAPACK implementations currently in use (not available on Windows).

  • grep(perl = TRUE) and friends can now make use of PCRE’s Just-In-Time mechanism, for PCRE >= 8.20 on platforms where JIT is supported. It is used by default whenever the pattern is studied, which by default requires an input x of length at least 10. (Based on a patch from Mikko Korpela.) This is controlled by a new option PCRE_use_JIT.

  • There is a new option PCRE_study which controls when grep(perl = TRUE) and friends study the compiled pattern.

  • The deprecated support for PCRE versions older than 8.20 will be removed in R 3.4.1. (Versions 8.20-8.31 will still be accepted but deprecated.)

  • grep(perl = TRUE) and friends set a maximal recursion limit, taking into account R’s estimate of the remaining C stack space. This reduces the chance of C stack overflow, but because it is conservative may return a non-match with a warning in examples that succeeded before. (PR#16757)

  • The binning algorithm used by bandwidth selectors bw.ucv(), bw.bcv() and bw.SJ() switches to a version linear in the input size n for n > nb/2 . (The calculations are the same, but for large n/nb it is worth doing the binning in advance.)

  • R CMD Rd2pdf had problems with packages with non-ASCII titles in .Rd files (usually the titles were omitted).

  • The internal methods of download.file() and url() now report that they cannot follow this (rather than failing silently).

  • (Unix-alike) download.file(method = "auto")(the default) re-tries with method = "libcurl".

  • (Unix-alike) url(method = "default")with an explicit openargument re-tries with method = "libcurl". This covers many of the usages, e.g. readLines() with a URL argument.

Upcoming Events

  • R/Finance 2017 May 19 and 20, 2017
    From the inaugural conference in 2009, the annual R/Finance conference in Chicago has become the primary meeting for academics and practioners interested in using R in Finance.

  • useR! 2017 July 4, 2017
    The annual useR! conference is the main meeting of the international R user and developer community.

More past events at R conferences & meetups.

Quotes of the Week