[Rd] R/CRAN switch to UCRT on Windows

Uwe Ligges ||gge@ @end|ng |rom @t@t|@t|k@tu-dortmund@de
Wed Dec 8 15:24:21 CET 2021

Thank you, Tomas, for your hard work on the new toolchain, its 
documentation, and all your efforts in providing patches for R and for 
several contributed packages.


On 08.12.2021 14:56, Tomas Kalibera wrote:
> Please note an update concerning the support of UTF-8 as native encoding 
> on Windows, which may at this point be of interest particularly to 
> developers of packages with native code and to R users using R-devel 
> (the development version of R) on Windows:
> https://developer.r-project.org/Blog/public/2021/12/07/upcoming-changes-in-r-4.2-on-windows/ 
> The key part is that CRAN will switch the incoming checks of R packages 
> on Windows to a new toolchain targeting UCRT on Monday, December 13.
> It may take up to several days for all systems to synchronize and during 
> this time, it may be difficult to build R-devel on Windows from source 
> or to install packages.  After the switch, the snapshot R-devel builds 
> and binary package builds provided by CRAN will be built using the new 
> toolchain for UCRT. These new builds will use UTF-8 as the native 
> encoding on recent Windows.
> These builds will be incompatible with the previous builds for MSVCRT 
> and installed/binary packages will be incompatible as well. The 
> recommended/simplest course of action for R-devel users is to uninstall 
> the old build of R-devel, RTools, delete the old package libraries, and 
> then install the new versions.
> Checks of CRAN packages with the new toolchain have been running since 
> March with results available on CRAN pages. By now, most packages are 
> working, but some packages using native (C, C++, Fortran) code still 
> have to be updated. The Winbuilder service and R-hub support the new 
> toolchain, there is also support/example for using github actions. The 
> builds of R-devel and CRAN (and recommended binary packages) with the 
> new toolchain are available regularly since March.
> I've created patches for CRAN (and required Bioconductor packages) which 
> are installed automatically at package installation time by R. This 
> feature will be also in R-devel after the switch and will be used 
> temporarily to give package authors more time to fix their packages. Uwe 
> Ligges, other CRAN team members and I have also been in touch with some 
> package authors, providing advice how to fix their packages, when the 
> issues required more explanation. I am prepared to help the remaining 
> authors as well if needed.
> Please see the blog post and materials linked from there for more 
> details and feel free to ask questions.
> Thanks
> Tomas
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