If, like me, you were wondering what the R Consortium was going to do for the R language, here's our first hint: an $85,000 grant to a project called R-Hub, described as a new service to simplify "developing, building, testing and validating R packages." The consortium's Infrastructure Steering Committee also plans to award more than $110,000 in additional grants; proposals can be submitted until Jan. 10, 2016.
"R-Hub will modernize and improve the entire process of developing and testing R packages," Hadley Wickham, chair of the consortium's Infrastructure Steering Committee, said in a statement. Wickham is one of the R community's most influential package authors -- his devtools and roxygen2 libraries are used by numerous R developers, and he also wrote the O'Reilly book R Packages.
R-Hub will be compatible with both CRAN (the major repository for R packages) and R-Forge (another platform popular with developers), according to grant recipient Gábor Csárdi, a post-doc research associate at Harvard University's Statistics Department. Use will be free for all users, and the project will include the ability to pre-test CRAN package submissions. That's something that many package developers will likely cheer, given complaints by some authors that the CRAN submission and testing process can be somewhat laborious.
News of the R grants was scheduled to be announced this morning at the opening of EARL Boston, a conference on Effective Applications of the R Language. I will be live-blogging from the conference starting this afternoon; you can bookmark this link: http://cwrld.us/EARL15.