Re: [R] R 1.9.0 is release

From: Duncan Murdoch <>
Date: Mon 12 Apr 2004 - 19:37:40 GMT

On 12 Apr 2004 14:05:25 +0200, Peter Dalgaard <> wrote :

>I've rolled up R-1.9.0.tgz a short while ago. This is a new version
>with a number of new features, most notably a substantial
>reorganization of the standard packages, a major update of the grid
>package, and the fact that underscore can now be used as a regular
>character in variable names.

I've just uploaded the Windows build. It should appear on CRAN and the mirrors by tomorrow.

The main Windows-specific changes are the following:

There are many other changes and bug fixes. Here's an extract from the CHANGES file:


Both Rterm and Rgui now give usage information via the --help or -h command-line flag.

There is now a "Misc|Break to debugger" menu option, enabled when a debugger is detected (somewhat fallibly), or infallibly by the "--debug" command line option. This will cause a trap to an external debugger, e.g. for running Rgui under gdb. If the menu item is selected when not running under a debugger R is likely to crash. If the "--debug" option is used, R will break to the debugger during command line processing, allowing the startup process to be debugged.

Added "stay" argument to bringToTop(), to allow the user to specify that a window should stay on top of other windows. Also added "stay on top" item to the popup menus. All of these require R to be running in SDI mode ("Rgui --sdi" or via the settings in file `Rconsole').

Changed windows() so that new windows fit within the MDI client area.

Added winMenuNames() and winMenuItems() functions to query user menus.

Added menu items for and CRAN on the help menu. (Wishlist PR#6492)

Added "R" command to be similar to Unix invocation of scripts, e.g. "R CMD INSTALL" is the same as "Rcmd INSTALL". Rcmd still exists for backwards compatibility (and to avoid conflicts over the name `R'). All of R, R CMD and Rcmd now accept --help.

Rcmd Rd2dvi can now be specified as such rather than as Rcmd

Added "Paste commands only" to edit and popup menus in the Rgui console.
This allows copying of a block of output, but pasting only the commands
back to the console for re-execution. (Code contributed by Tony Plate.)


Parallel make (make -j2, say) can be used, but only usefully on dual-processor (or perhaps hyperthreaded) hosts with at least 384Mb of memory.

Installing now sorts in the C locale to ensure that a consistent sort order is used. (Some aspects of sorting used to be done in the locale of the host machine, but Perl and the cygwin-based tools used the ASCII collation order.)

The long-untested support for making Windows .hlp files has been withdrawn.

There is support for using K. Goto's fast BLAS. On a 2.6Ghz P4 with 1Gb RAM and A a 1000 x 1000 matrix we had the following timings

A %*% A	 3.7	0.65	0.56
svd(A)	16.2	7.77	6.83

Note that using a fast BLAS is much less effective for smaller matrices as are more common in statistical applications.

Faster assembler code for exponentiation is used.

Cross-building of R itself now works again. (It had been broken since 1.8.0.)

Building/installing packages

R CMD INSTALL/build/check map path names with spaces in to their short forms.

R CMD INSTALL now supports versioned install via --with-package-versions.

Installing (binary) package bundles now checks the MD5 sums and reports success, just as for packages.

Added "* DONE" to the end of INSTALL logs so --install option to CHECK will work. (This is a repository maintainer option; see src/scripts/ for docs).

Internal changes

The fast bmp/png/jpeg code introduced in R 1.8.0 is used even for 256-color displays (as we have now been able to test it on such).

R's internal malloc etc are now remapped to Rm_malloc etc and only used in allocating memory for R objects, the Wilcoxon tests and a few other memory-intensive applications.

Improved malloc routines from the current version of Doug Lea's malloc (as suggested by David Teller) should enable large memory areas to be used more effectively, in particular those over 2Gb where OS support has been enabled. The initially requested memory is no longer reserved, but as this malloc is able to work with non-contiguous memory chunks that should not matter.

The installer uses LZMA compression, so Inno Setup >= 4.1.5 is required.

Version 1.2.5 of libpng is now used in binary builds.

Bug fixes

Fixed list.files() to properly handle paths like "C:", etc.

Fixed unlink() to accept empty file list for Unix consistency.

Fixed handling of whitespace in processing of DESCRIPTION files.

Fixed handling of "--max-mem-size" syntax error on command line.

In RGui, ^T would not transpose the first and second characters on a line. (PR#5593)

Fixed junk character at start of a pipe(). (PR#5053)

R CMD SHLIB was computing dependencies for all C files, not just those specified on the command line, and building the DLL from all *.o files in the directory.

The sizes of metafiles in pixels were often coming out one pixel more than requested, so the background was not quite all painted. Now we over-estimate.

Rproxy.dll would cause a crash when transferring large amounts of data.

Workaround for Microsoft's esoteric idea that date-times in 1970 before
1970-01-01 00:00:00 GMT are invalid, so as.POSIXct("1970-01-01 00:00:00") failed in timezones ahead of GMT.

Avoid possible segfault with browseURL() on urls of more than 264 chars
(although these are not guaranteed to work). mailing list Received on Tue Apr 13 22:31:39 2004

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