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Dear rOpenSci friends, it’s time for our monthly news roundup!

You can read this post on our blog.
Now let’s dive into the activity at and around rOpenSci!

rOpenSci HQ

rOpenSci 2023 Code of Conduct Transparency Report

Transparency reports are intended to help the community understand what kind of Code of Conduct incidents we receive reports about annually and how the Code of Conduct team responds, always preserving the privacy of the people who experience or report incidents.

Read the report.

rOpenSci Champions Program

We are proud to welcome our second cohort of Champions! Learn about them and the projects they will develop while participating in the rOpenSci Champions Program.

Read the blog post.

R-universe updates

Thanks to contributions from Hiroaki Yutani the R-universe WebAssembly toolchain now includes the Rust compiler. So have experimental support for compiling packages with rust code for use in WebR!

R-universe now supports vignettes written in Quarto!

In preparation for the next major R release in April, we have started building MacOS binaries for 4.4, and will soon drop the 4.2 binaries.


Read all about coworking!

Join us for social coworking & office hours monthly on first Tuesdays!
Hosted by Steffi LaZerte and various community hosts.
Everyone welcome.
No RSVP needed.
Consult our Events page to find your local time and how to join.

  • Tuesday, March 5th, 9:00 Australia Western (1:00 UTC), Dates, Times and Timezones in R. With cohost Steffi LaZerte and Alex Koiter.

    • Explore resources for working with dates, times, and timezones in R
    • Work on a project dealing with dates and times
    • Ask questions or troubleshoot your timezone problems with the cohost and other attendees.
  • Tuesday, April 2nd, 14:00 Europe Central (13:00 UTC) Theme and Cohost TBA

And remember, you can always cowork independently on work related to R, work on packages that tend to be neglected, or work on what ever you need to get done!

Software 📦

New packages

The following package recently became a part of our software suite, or were recently reviewed again:

  • fluidsynth, developed by Jeroen Ooms: Bindings to libfluidsynth to parse and synthesize MIDI files. It can read MIDI into a data frame, play it on the local audio device, or convert into an audio file. It is available on CRAN.

Discover more packages, read more about Software Peer Review.

New versions

The following nineteen packages have had an update since the last newsletter: commonmark (v1.9.1), baRcodeR (v0.1.8), comtradr (v0.4.0.0), dbparser (v2.0.2), fluidsynth (generaluser-gs-v1.471), GSODR (v3.1.10), lingtypology (v1.1.16), melt (v1.11.0), nasapower (v4.2.0), nodbi (v0.10.1), rangr (v1.0.3), readODS (v2.2.0), rnaturalearthdata (v1.0.0), rnaturalearthhires (v1.0.0), rvertnet (v0.8.4), stats19 (v3.0.3), tarchetypes (0.7.12), targets (1.5.1), and unifir (v0.2.4).

Software Peer Review

There are fifteen recently closed and active submissions and 4 submissions on hold. Issues are at different stages:

Find out more about Software Peer Review and how to get involved.

On the blog

Tech Notes

Calls for contributions

Calls for maintainers

If you’re interested in maintaining any of the R packages below, you might enjoy reading our blog post What Does It Mean to Maintain a Package?.

internetarchive, an API Client for the Internet Archive. Issue for volunteering.

historydata, datasets for historians. Issue for volunteering.

textreuse, detect text reuse and document similarity. Issue for volunteering.

tokenizers, fast, consistent tokenization of natural language text. Issue for volunteering.

USAboundaries (and USAboundariesdata), historical and contemporary boundaries of the United States of America . Issue for volunteering.

Calls for contributions

Help make waywiser better! User requests wanted

Also refer to our help wanted page – before opening a PR, we recommend asking in the issue whether help is still needed.

Package development corner

Some useful tips for R package developers. 👀

R Consortium Infrastructure Steering Committee (ISC) Grant Program Accepting Proposals starting March 1st!

The R Consortium Call for Proposal might be a relevant funding opportunity for your package!
Find out more in their post.
Don’t forget to browse past funded projects for inspiration.

Verbosity control in R packages

Don’t miss Mark Padgham’s and Maëlle Salmon’s tech note on verbosity control in R packages, that explains our new requirement around verbosity control: use a package-level option to control it rather than an argument in every function.
Your feedback on the new requirement is welcome!

A creative way to have users udpate your package

Miles McBain shared a creative strategy for having users update (internal) R packages regularly: printing the installed version in a different colour at package loading, depending on whether it is the latest version.

Progress on multilingual help support

Elio Campitelli shared some news of their project for multilingual help support.
There’s a first working prototype!
Find out more in the repository.

Load different R package versions at once with git worktree

If you’ve ever wanted to have two folders corresponding each to a different version of an R package, say the development version and a former release, to open each of them in a different R session, you might enjoy this blog post by Maëlle Salmon presenting how to use git worktree for this purpose.

A package live review

Nick Tierney recently live reviewed the soils package by Jadey Ryan, together with Miles McBain and Adam Sparks.
Jadey Ryan published a thorough blog post about the review.
The recording is available.
You can suggest your package for a future live review by Nick in his repository.

GitHub Actions now supports free arm64 macOS runners for open source projects

This piece of news was shared by Gábor Csárdi who’s updated r-lib/actions to include the new “macos-14” runner that you can include in your build matrix.

Last words

Thanks for reading! If you want to get involved with rOpenSci, check out our Contributing Guide that can help direct you to the right place, whether you want to make code contributions, non-code contributions, or contribute in other ways like sharing use cases.
You can also support our work through donations.

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Continue reading: rOpenSci News Digest, February 2024

rOpenSci: Snapshot and Potential Future Developments

Recent developments at rOpenSci point to a trend towards greater collaboration, code conduct transparency, and diversity of contributors and projects. With many new packages and updates, this community-focused endeavour continues to build momentum, offering assistance and resources for R package developers around the world. But what would the long-term implications of this be? Will such platforms democratise coding by encouraging open-source contributions, making specialised knowledge more widely available?

Technical Innovations and Updates

Innovations in software packages, an updated Code of Conduct, and new cohorts of Champions are some key developments that indicate ongoing growth and diversification within the rOpenSci ecosystem. The successful integration of Rust compiler into the R-universe WebAssembly toolchain enhances the capability for compiling packages with Rust code for use in WebR. This could significantly boost the possibilities for building web-specific R projects in the future.

Many new packages join the rOpenSci suite while existing packages release new versions. For instance, the fluidsynth package, developed by Jeroen Ooms, binds with libfluidsynth to parse and synthesize MIDI files, marking an exciting intersection of music and programming.

New Code Conduct Transparency

The launch of rOpenSci’s Code of Conduct Transparency Report signals an emphasis on open communication and accountability, crucial for a thriving open-source community.

rOpenSci Champions Program

The Champions Program underlines the organization’s commitment to bringing diverse perspectives into its ecosystem. Teams from all over the world participate, potentially bringing variegated ideas based on cultural and experiential differences.

Long-term Implications

The focus on inclusivity and transparency might lead to a more globally represented, democratic coding world where talent and innovation can come from anywhere. Opportunities for different types of funding, such as the R Consortium Infrastructure Steering Committee (ISC) Grant Program, can further financially support creative ideas that lack only the resources to actualize.

Possible Future Developments

Future developments may likely pivot around building a more extensive, diverse, and inclusive community of contributors who drive the expansion of the R ecosystem. Developing support for multilingual help could be a game-changer in breaking down language barriers to widespread participation. If successful, this prototype could inform future forays into multilingual support systems on similar platforms.

Actionable Advice

If you’re an R package developer looking to contribute or get involved with rOpenSci, follow the guidelines in the Contributing Guide. Submit your packages for peer review or even volunteer as a package maintainer. Don’t forget to take advantage of existing resources like coworking events and software peer review to collaborate, get help, and learn. Remember, every contribution, large or tiny, makes a difference.

If you’re an R-using organization interested in supporting open science, consider making donations to reconstruct the landscape of scientific data analysis, ensuring that it is transparent, accessible, and reproducible.

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