[R] where are the NEWS for R <3.0.0?

Ben Marwick bmarwick at uw.edu
Sun Dec 21 12:21:49 CET 2014

Thanks, yes I found them in my local installation, just as you said. In 
case anyone else wants to get them programatically, here's what I did 
(on windows 7, R version 3.1.1):

# navigate to local R installation dir

# get all news files
news_files <- list.files( pattern = "NEWS", full.names = TRUE, recursive 

Thanks again,


On 20/12/2014 6:22 PM, Duncan Murdoch wrote:
> On 19/12/2014, 5:48 PM, Ben Marwick wrote:
>> I'm looking for the NEWS files for versions of R before 3.0.0, does
>> anyone know where they are? I'm interested in getting the names of
>> people who have been acknowledged when changes are made to R.
>> At the bottom of http://cran.r-project.org/src/base/NEWS.html it says
>> "Older news can be found in text format in files NEWS.0, NEWS.1 and
>> NEWS.2 in the ‘doc’ directory. News in HTML format for R versions from
>> 2.10.0 to 2.15.3 is in NEWS.2.html."
>> The text includes these URLs:
>> http://cran.r-project.org/src/NEWS.0
>> http://cran.r-project.org/src/NEWS.1
>> http://cran.r-project.org/src/NEWS.2
>> http://cran.r-project.org/src/base/NEWS.2.html
>> All of these go to 404s, and when src is replaced by doc, as suggested
>> by the text, they also go to 404s. There are no NEWS files in here
>> either: http://cran.r-project.org/doc/html/ So there are a bunch of
>> broken links here.
> If you read these from within the HTML help system in R, the links
> aren't broken.  CRAN copied some of the files from there, but not all.
> You can also find the files in the RHOME/doc directory (and subdirectories).
> Duncan Murdoch
>> I found a bunch of PDFs listed here http://cran.r-project.org/doc/Rnews/
>> dating from 2008-2001. Are these only source of the earlier NEWS files?
>> They're less convenient because the NEWS section is not a single plain
>> text file, but a section of the PDF document. I'd be most grateful to
>> know where I can find html or txt files of the earlier NEWS files. If
>> the PDFs are all there are, it would be good to know that for sure.
>> The other method I was considering was scraping bugzilla for names of
>> people who submitted bugs that resulted in a fix
>> (https://bugs.r-project.org/bugzilla3/buglist.cgi?product=R&query_format=advanced&resolution=FIXED).
>> But text mining the NEWS files would be quicker for a first approximation.
>> thanks,
>> Ben

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