MattBagg MattBagg - 1 month ago 11
R Question

Is there any authoritative documentation on R release nicknames?

Somewhere after R 2.1.0, I started noticing short phrases next to the R release number that is displayed on start up. This turns out to be a release nickname, an undocumented component added to the R.Version variable, accessible with

R.Version$nickname
.

The archives of R-announce show Peter Dalgaard announcing a new release's nickname on several occasions (e.g., here) but I don't find any other information. Despite being a list element of the object queried by
R.Version()
, it is not included in help file for that function.

Is there any documentation on this feature? Ideally I'd like a statement of the system used to determine a release's nickname, but any authoritative reference would be great.

Answer

In response to an email asking if there is a system to the names, Peter Dalgaard states there is

"No system (except that they should be in season at release time)"

Thus, they are not alphabetical or otherwise ordinal -- there is apparently not a way to infer the order of releases from their nicknames.

There is, however, the appearance of a possible general theme:

  • 2.14.0 (2011-10-31) Great Pumpkin
  • 2.14.1 (2011-12-22) December Snowflakes
  • 2.14.2 (2012-02-29) Gift-Getting Season
  • 2.15.0 (2012-03-30) Easter Beagle
  • 2.15.1 (2012-06-22) Roasted Marshmallows
  • 2.15.2 (2012-10-26) Trick or Treat
  • 2.15.3 (2013-03-01) Security Blanket
  • 3.0.0 (2013-04-03) Masked Marvel
  • 3.0.1 (2013-05-16) Good Sport
  • 3.0.2 (2013-09-25) Frisbee Sailing
  • 3.0.3 (2014-03-06) Warm Puppy
  • 3.1.0 (2014-04-10) Spring Dance
  • 3.1.1 (2014-07-10) Sock it to Me
  • 3.1.2 (2014-10-31) Pumpkin Helmet
  • 3.1.3 (2015-03-09) Smooth Sidewalk
  • 3.2.0 (2015-04-16) Full of Ingredients
  • 3.2.1 (2015-06-18) World-Famous Astronaut
  • 3.2.2 (2015-08-14) Fire Safety
  • 3.2.3 (2015-12-10) Wooden Christmas-Tree
  • 3.2.4 (2016-03-11) Very Secure Dishes
  • 3.3.0 (2016-05-03) Supposedly Educational
  • r-devel (unreleased development version) Unbuffered Consequences
  • 3.3.1 (2016-06-21) Bug in Your Hair
  • 3.3.2 (2016-10-31) Sincere Pumpkin Patch

As no one has uncovered any documentation, I'll tentatively accept my own answer.

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