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What’s new with R Consortium funded projects in Q2 2018

By August 13, 2018April 21st, 2022Blog, R Consortium Project

In an effort to provide greater transparency with respect to R Consortium activities, the ISC provides quarterly updates for all R Consortium funded projects. The following is our update for Q2 2018.

histoRicalg — Preserving and Transferring Algorithmic Knowledge

The HistoRicalg project is seeking participants — both active and in a review capacity — to help select issues in older algorithms that should be addressed.
We are setting up a working group to identify possible issues in older algorithms.
Some concerns have already been identified and we are starting to address them. See wiki for details.

Forwards Workshops for Women and Girls

foRwards is pleased to announce upcoming R workshops in Melbourne and Auckland. We thank the R Consortium for funding. See the GitHub page for details.

Code Coverage Tool for R

While the software development goals of this project have been achieved through the covr package re-released in summer 2017, we continue to make progress on the secondary goal to integrate package best practices into the R Community. We pursued this along two threads.

First, we conducted a survey on the understanding and use of open source licenses and their implications for the R Community. We blogged about the results here.

Second, we reviewed the Linux Foundation Core Infrastructure Initiative Best Practices Badge Program. Initially, we considered branching a version of the CII tailored to R, however, in further discussions, it appears the CII Best Practices Badge Program can be adopted as is. We are currently conducting a survey of the R Community soliciting feedback on having the CII Best Practices Badge Program be a recommended practice from the R Consortium, as well as to identify any necessary enhancements to the questionnaire.

Look here for refactoring and updating the SWIG R module

R User Group Support program

The RUGs program continues to enroll additional user groups. As of June 14th 87 groups are participating in the program: 2 Array level, 14 Matrix level and 71 Vector level. Additionally, we have sponsored 10 small conferences since the beginning of the program. The RUGs program will run through September 30, 2018.

stars: Scalable, spatiotemporal tidy arrays for R

The stars project is underway. Look here for details and to get involved and here for examples and reports.

Sat R Days

satRdays is growing amazingly well!

We’ve got 8 events coming up in the next year, with plans to add more events too. At satRdays we’re baking in a commitment to diversity and it’s going amazingly well. The most recent event in Cardiff, UK had 11 of 14 speakers coming from under-represented groups.

We’re looking for more folks who want to organise satRdays events, particularly outside of the Europe region. If any one is interested you can read our growing docs, including about what its all about at and chat to us on the global R User Group leaders Slack You can also come one board to help with central stuff like the website, building up the documentation, marketing, and supporting new event organisers.

Conference Management System for R Consortium Sponsored Conferences

One of the next big areas for us to think about the next wave of central funding from the Consortium and whether she should do anything to have an official entity for the central administration associated with these conferences.”
Conference Management System for R Consortium Supported Conferences “After making performing an extensive review, Odoo was identified as the most feature-rich platform for hosting events however, there were limitations that particularly impacted academic-oriented events.

We discussed the option of extending Odoo as it was based on Python, but it was felt that trying to make a one size fits all solution was not the best approach.

The alternative we discussed and will now move forward with is a flexible and minimal solution in Hugo, the basis for blogdown.

Our revised proposal will see rapid development and iteration using satRfdays as the test subject. This will mean other R events can leverage the solutions developed for satRdays and the technology will be proven by the next UseR! iteration

Quantities for R

The r-quantities project has reached the third milestone. The first prototype has been polished and aligned with recent developments in the units package. Efficient parsers have been implemented to read data with units and/or errors into quantities objects. The documentation has been extended to provide a comprehensive guide on working with quantities in two common data wrangling workflows. Further details about these developments can be found in the three articles published so far in

Proposal to Create an R Consortium Working Group Focused on US Census Data NA.

The working group held its first meeting on August 8th. If you are interested in getting involved, write to us at

Ongoing infrastructural development for R on Windows and MacOS

Development of the new version of Rtools, and rebuilding of C++ libraries used by packages. We are now in the process of testing base-R and all CRAN packages with the new GCC 8.1 toolchain.

Developing Tools and Templates for Teaching Materials

We are in the planning phase at this stage. We’ll soon set up GitHub repository and website for more visibility, share planed features, progress, and give an opportunity for the community to provide feedback.

Joint profiling of native and R code

OS X support has been added and the main package has been renamed to jointprof to avoid a name clash with an existing package. Try it out, happy to take your feedback!

Maintaining DBI

The third DBI project is focused on technical and non-technical issues. We would like to present DBI at R meetups in Zurich and Berlin, and we have submitted a talk for the next satRday in Amsterdam. The renaming of duplicate columns in the output introduced in DBI 1.0.0 caused problems for RSQLite and will be reverted. The sqlr package by Nicolas Bennettaims at providing a backend-agnostic way to define the structure of a database, i.e., generate DML statements from R code similarly to SQLAlchemy for Python.


Growth : The growth we saw at the start of 2018 has continued with now 25,000 R-Ladies (members signed up on meet-up). With 17 new groups in this quarter (5 in the US, 1 in Canada, 4 in Latin America, 3 in Europe, 2 in Australia, 1 in Asia and 1 Remote) increasing to more than 115 R-Ladies chapters worldwide (on Additionally a new R-Ladies remote was launched to allow R-Ladies far from a chapter/city to be involved in an R-Ladies group.
Improving infrastructure: Move to R-Ladies global meet-up Pro account to help align chapters expenses, new initiatives for Slack community in development.
Long term planning: Progress made on Charity set-up.
Supporting Rconsortium and RStudio along with R-Forward to improve the conference organisation and diversity requirements to make all future R conferences inclusive.

PSI application for collaboration to create online R package validation repository

The PSI AIMS SIG will lead the creation of an online repository / web portal, where validation which is of regulatory standard for R packages can be submitted and stored for free use. We will define a set of “Validation Criteria”, demonstrate it by applying it to the dplyr package, and then encourage contributions from R users to document validation of other packages and load them to the shared free access portal.

In June 2018, we attended the PSI Conference in Amsterdam to promote the idea and make contacts with potential future collaborators. Our next steps will be continue work on the Validation Criteria Framework engaging key opinion leaders at the R/Pharma conference in August. If you have experience in R validation and are interested in working with us on this project please contact

R Documentation Task Force

Beta packages with limited functionality are being prepared for release.