pqR - a pretty quick version of R
pqR is a new version of the R interpreter. It is based on R-2.15.0, distributed by the R Core Team (at r-project.org), but improves on it in many ways, mostly ways that speed it up, but also by implementing some new features and fixing some bugs. pqR is an open-source project licensed under the GPL.
One notable improvement in pqR is that it is able to do some numeric computations in parallel with each other, and with other operations of the interpreter, on systems with multiple processors or processor cores.
Features of the current stable pqR release of 2015-07-11 are described in the NEWS file (which is also included in the distribution below). This release has some significant performance improvements and also has a number of bug fixes. Another major release is planned soon, which will have additional performance improvements, and will hopefully be fully compatible with R-2.15.1 (or possibly with a later R Core release).
To install pqR on a Linux/Unix/Mac system, first download this gzipped tar file:
pqR-2015-07-11.tar.gzYou can verify download integrity by checking the sha1sum.
Unpack this file with the "gunzip" and "tar" commands (many "tar" programs will do the gunzip automatically, or it may have been done by the download softare). Configuration, compilation, and installation can then be done in the same way as for R-2.15.0, but there are some additional options for pqR. Refer to the file `INSTALL' for the installation instructions, which have been expanded to be more detailed than in R-2.15.0.
Linux systems will usually have all or most of the utilities needed to build pqR. For a Mac, you will need to install Apple's Xcode software and a Fortran compiler; parallel computation using "helper threads" requires installing a non-Apple C compiler that supports OpenMP.
Trying to install pqR on a Windows system is not currently recommended, except for those who are experienced and adventurous (some success on Windows has been reported, but tweaks may be required that aren't yet all in the current version).
The pqR wiki contains more information on systems on which pqR has been tested, including the configuration options that were used, and details of compilers used.
A repository of packages known to work with pqR (and with each other) is available at ftp://price.utstat.utoronto.ca. It may be used as the repository when installing packages as follows:
Packages from CRAN may also work with pqR, though some depend on a version of R later than 2.15.0. Note that the pqR repository is not continuously updated with new packages from CRAN. (It may be updated now and then.)
install.packages (vector-of-package-names, repos="ftp://price.utstat.utoronto.ca")
See the pqR wiki for more information on this repository.
The pqR issues page has reports of bugs and other issues. Please report bugs you find there.
For more information on pqR and R in general, see the following manuals, which have been updated where required with information on pqR:
The pqR wiki has additional current information on pqR. This includes information on systems on which pqR has been tested, and packages tested with pqR.
My blog, at radfordneal.wordpress.com, has a series of posts discussing pqR, as follows (most recent first):
Some of these posts refer to my set of speed tests for R.
pqR-2013-06-20 (first publicised release)
The git repository for the source code and development history of pqR is at http://github.com/radfordneal/pqR. The current release is on branch Release-2015-07-11. See the MODS file in that branch (or mods directory in development branches) for information on how branches in the git repository are organized. These branches also document how pqR differs from R-2.15.0.