R 3.3.3 is released!

R 3.3.3 (codename “Another Canoe”) was released yesterday You can get the latest binaries version from here. (or the .tar.gz source code from here). The full list of bug fixes and new features is provided below.

A quick summary by David Smith:

R 3.3.3 fixes an issue related to attempting to use download.file on sites that automatically redirect from http to https: now, R will re-attempt to download the secure link rather than failing. Other fixes include support for long vectors in the vapply function, the ability to use pmax (and pmin) on ordered factors, improved accuracy for qbeta for some extreme cases, corrected spelling for “Cincinnati” in the precip data set, and a few other minor issues.

Upgrading to R 3.3.3 on Windows

If you are using Windows you can easily upgrade to the latest version of R using the installr package. Simply run the following code in Rgui:

install.packages("installr") # install 
setInternet2(TRUE) # only for R versions older than 3.3.0
installr::updateR() # updating R.

Running “updateR()” will detect if there is a new R version available, and if so it will download+install it (etc.). There is also a step by step tutorial (with screenshots) on how to upgrade R on Windows, using the installr package. If you only see the option to upgrade to an older version of R, then change your mirror or try again in a few hours (it usually take around 24 hours for all CRAN mirrors to get the latest version of R).

I try to keep the installr package updated and useful, so if you have any suggestions or remarks on the package – you are invited to open an issue in the github page.



  • Changes when redirection of a http:// URL to a https:// URL is encountered:
    • The internal methods of download.file() and url() now report that they cannot follow this (rather than failing silently).
    • (Unix-alike) download.file(method = "auto") (the default) re-tries with method = "libcurl".
    • (Unix-alike) url(method = "default") with an explicit open argument re-tries with method = "libcurl". This covers many of the usages, e.g. readLines() with a URL argument.


  • The configure check for the zlib version is now robust to versions longer than 5 characters, including 1.2.11.


  • Environmental variable _R_CHECK_TESTS_NLINES_ controls how R CMD check reports failing tests (see §8 of the ‘R Internals’ manual).


  • (C-level Native routine registration.) The undocumented styles field of the components of R_CMethodDef and R_FortranMethodDef is deprecated.


  • vapply(x, *) now works with long vectors x. (PR#17174)
  • isS3method("is.na.data.frame") and similar are correct now. (PR#17171)
  • grepRaw(<long>, <short>, fixed = TRUE) now works, thanks to a patch by Mikko Korpela. (PR#17132)
  • Package installation into a library where the package exists via symbolic link now should work wherever Sys.readlink() works, resolving PR#16725.
  • "Cincinnati" was missing an "n" in the precip dataset.
  • Fix buffer overflow vulnerability in pdf() when loading an encoding file. Reported by Talos (TALOS-2016-0227).
  • getDLLRegisteredRoutines() now produces its warning correctly when multiple DLLs match, thanks to Matt Dowle’s PR#17184.
  • Sys.timezone() now returns non-NA also on platforms such as Ubuntu 14.04.5 LTS, thanks to Mikko Korpela’s PR#17186.
  • format(x) for an illegal "POSIXlt" object x no longer segfaults.
  • methods(f) now also works for f "(" or "{".
  • (Windows only) dir.create() did not check the length of the path to create, and so could overflow a buffer and crash R. (PR#17206)
  • On some systems, very small hexadecimal numbers in hex notation would underflow to zero. (PR#17199)
  • pmin() and pmax() now work again for ordered factors and 0-length S3 classed objects, thanks to Suharto Anggono’s PR#17195 and PR#17200.
  • bug.report() did not do any validity checking on a package’s BugReports field. It now ignores an empty field, removes leading whitespace and only attempts to open http:// and https:// URLs, falling back to emailing the maintainer.
  • Bandwidth selectors bw.ucv() and bw.SJ() gave incorrect answers or incorrectly reported an error (because of integer overflow) for inputs longer than 46341. Similarly for bw.bcv() at length 5793.

    Another possible integer overflow is checked and may result in an error report (rather than an incorrect result) for much longer inputs (millions for a smooth distribution).

  • findMethod() failed if the active signature had expanded beyond what a particular package used. (Example with packages XR and XRJulia on CRAN.)
  • qbeta() underflowed too early in some very asymmetric cases. (PR#17178)
  • R CMD Rd2pdf had problems with packages with non-ASCII titles in ‘.Rd’ files (usually the titles were omitted).


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