Wed, 07 Oct 2020

littler 0.3.12: Exciting updates

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The thirteenth release of littler as a CRAN package became available today (after a three day ‘rest’ at CRAN for no real reason), following in the fourteen-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 as it predates Rscript. 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 only started to do in recent years.

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 brings five new example scripts and command wrappers:

  • installDeps.r installs all dependencies of package (directory or tarball)
  • installRSPM.r relies on RSPM to install binary packages
  • installBSPM.r relies on BSPM to install binary packages (esp. on Linux)
  • cranIncomimg.r checks the incoming queue for one or more packages
  • urlUpdates.r checks and/or updates stale URLs leading to redirects

A number of commands were also extended or updated (see below for more). We have a new and very slick documentation website once again utilising Material for MkDocs. Last but not least the two included vignettes now use minidown and the fabulous water css theme—which reduced the file sizes of the two vignettes from, respectively, 884kb and 873kb to 47kb and 15kb. Yes, that is correct. That alone brought the package file size down from 641kb to 116kb. Incredible.

The NEWS file entry is below.

Changes in littler version 0.3.12 (2020-10-04)

  • Changes in examples

    • Updates to scripts tt.r, cos.r, cow.r, c4r.r, com.r

    • New script installDeps.r to install dependencies

    • Several updates tp script check.r

    • New script installBSPM.r and installRSPM.r for binary package installation (Dirk and Iñaki in #81)

    • New script cranIncoming.r to check in Incoming

    • New script urlUpdate.r validates URLs as R does

  • Changes in package

    • Travis CI now uses BSPM

    • A package documentation website was added

    • Vignettes now use minidown resulting in much reduced filesizes: from over 800kb to under 50kb (Dirk in #83)

My CRANberries provides a comparison to the previous release. Full details for the littler release are provided as usual at the ChangeLog page, and now also on the new package docs website. The code is available via the GitHub repo, from tarballs and now of course also 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.

If you like this or other open-source work I do, you can now sponsor me at GitHub. For the first year, GitHub will match your contributions.

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

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