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Just today yesterday Last Thursday —took me more that I expected to have a moment to write finish this post— R was updated to 3.4.4 and this new released is called “Someone to Lean On”, which is —as all the rest are— a reference to Peanuts comic. These are the released notes:


  • Sys.timezone() tries more heuristics on Unix-alikes and so is more likely to succeed (especially on Linux). For the slowest method, a warning is given recommending that TZ is set to avoid the search.
  • The version of LAPACK included in the sources has been updated to 3.8.0 (for the routines used by R, a very minor bug-fix change).
  • parallel::detectCores(logical = FALSE) is ignored on Linux systems, since the information is not available with virtualized OSes.


  • Configure will use pkg-config to find the flags to link to jpeg if available (as it should be for the recently-released jpeg-9c and libjpeg-turbo). (This amends the code added in R 3.3.0 as the module name in jpeg-9c is not what that tested for.)


  • Sys.timezone(location = FALSE) (which was a stop-gap measure for Windows long ago) is deprecated. It no longer returns the value of environment variable TZ (usually a location).
  • Legacy support of make macros such as CXX1X is formally deprecated: use the CXX11 forms instead.
  • power.prop.test() now warns when it cannot solve the problem, typically because of impossible constraints. (PR#17345)
  • removeSource() no longer erroneously removes NULL in certain cases, thanks to D’enes T’oth.
  • nls(`NO [mol/l]` ~ f(t)) and nls(y ~ a) now work. (Partly from PR#17367)
  • R CMD build checks for GNU cp rather than assuming Linux has it. (PR#17370 says ‘Alpine Linux’ does not.)
  • Non-UTF-8 multibyte character handling fixed more permanently (PR#16732).
  • sum(, ) is more consistent. (PR#17372)
  • rf() and rbeta() now also work correctly when ncp is not scalar, notably when (partly) NA. (PR#17375)
  • R CMD INSTALL now correctly sets C++ compiler flags when all source files are in sub-directories of src.

If you are on macOS and you want to enjoy the improvements and the bug fixings, you just can download the binary from CRAN or if you are a Homebrew user you just can update with the following command

brew update && brew upgrade

This time the binaries for macOS came almost as the same time as the binaries for the rest of the platforms and I really welcome the change and the diligence. Sometimes I feel as a macOS user a second class user in some open source projects, since they release the new versions a little bit later on macOS than in the rest of the platforms. However, I really appreciate the work that all these people put in develop R and to bring to it to the macOS ecosystem. I acknowledge that they are doing a non-payed job and they are doing it for the community of users, which is incredible remarkable.

On the other hand, this time Homebrew was the one falling back a little bit, and on Thursday afternoon the formula to install R hadn’t been updated yet. So I just, just decided to update myself and make my first contribution to the Homebrew project. Update a Homebrew formula isn’t rocket science, and they even have a script to make things easier, so I really encourage you to update Homebrew formula and contribute to the community. In the next post I’ll try to explain the procedure of how to update a Homebrew formula.

Happy data analysis with the new R.

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