Software Open Access

ropensci/targets: Improved Target Markdown, configurability, shortcutting, workspace/error flexibility

Will Landau; Will Landau; Matthew T. Warkentin; Malcolm Barrett; Sam Albers; Kendon Bell; Timing Liu; Kirill Müller; Robin; Russ Hyde

targets 0.6.0 Bug fixes

  • Allow tar_poll() to lose and then regain connection to the progress file.
  • Make sure changes to the tar_group column of iteration = "group" data frames do not invalidate slices (#507, @lindsayplatt).
New features
  • In Target Markdown, add a new tar_interactive global option to select interactive mode or non-interactive mode (#469).
  • Highlight a graph neighborhood when the user clicks a node. Control the neighborhood degree with new arguments degree_from and degree_to of tar_visnetwork() and tar_glimpse() (#474, @rgayler).
  • Make the target script path configurable in tar_config_set() (#476).
  • Add a tar_script chunk option in Target Markdown to control where the {targets} language engine writes the target script and helper scripts (#478).
  • Add new arguments script and store to choose custom paths to the target script file and data store for individual function calls (#477).
  • Allow users to set an alternative path to the YAML configuration file for the current R session (#477). Most users have no reason to set this path, it is only for niche applications like Shiny apps with targets backends. Unavoidably, the path gets reset to _targets.yaml when the session restarts.
  • Add new _targets.yaml config options reporter_make, reporter_outdated, and workers to control function argument defaults shared across multiple functions called outside _targets.R (#498, @ianeveperry).
  • Add tar_load_globals() for debugging, testing, prototyping, and teaching (#496, @malcolmbarrett).
  • Add structure to the resources argument of tar_target() to avoid conflicts among formats and HPC backends (#489). Includes user-side helper functions like tar_resources() and tar_resources_aws() to build the required data structures.
  • Log skipped targets in _targets/meta/progress and display then in tar_progress(), tar_poll(), tar_watch(), tar_progress_branches(), tar_progress_summary(), and tar_visnetwork() (#514). Instead of writing each skip line separately to _targets/meta/progress, accumulate skip lines in a queue and then write them all out in bulk when something interesting happens. This avoids a lot of overhead in certain cases.
  • Add a shortcut argument to tar_make(), tar_make_clustermq(), tar_make_future(), tar_outdated(), and tar_sitrep() to more efficiently skip parts of the pipeline (#522, #523, @jennysjaarda, @MilesMcBain, @kendonB).
  • Support names and shortcut in graph data frames and graph visuals (#529).
  • Move allow and exclude to the network behind the graph visuals rather than the visuals themselves (#529).
  • Add a new "progress" display to the tar_watch() app to show verbose progress info and metadata.
  • Add a new workspace_on_error argument of tar_option_set() to supersede error = "workspace". Helps control workspace behavior independently of the error argument of tar_target() (#405, #533, #534, @mattwarkentin, @xinstein).
  • Implement error = "abridge" in tar_target() and related functions. If a target errors out with this option, the target itself stops, any currently running targets keeps, and no new targets launch after that (#533, #534, @xinstein).
  • Add a menu prompt to tar_destroy() which can be suppressed with TAR_ASK = "false" (#542, @gofford).
  • Support functions tar_older() and tar_newer() to help users identify and invalidate targets at regular times or intervals.
Deprecations
  • In Target Markdown, deprecate the targets chunk option in favor of tar_globals (#469).
  • Deprecate error = "workspace" in tar_target() and related functions. Use tar_option_set(workspace_on_error = TRUE) instead (#405, #533, @mattwarkentin, @xinstein).
Performance
  • Reset the backoff upper bound when concluding a target or shutting down a clustermq worker (@rich-payne).
  • Set more aggressive default backoff bound of 0.1 seconds (previous: 5 seconds) and set a more aggressive minimum of 0.001 seconds (previous: 0.01 seconds) (@rich-payne).
  • Speed up the summary and forecast reporters by only printing to the console every quarter second.
  • Avoid superfluous calls to store_sync_file_meta.default() on small files.
  • In tar_watch(), take several measures to avoid long computation times rendering the graph:
    • Expose arguments display and displays to tar_watch() so the user can select which display shows first.
    • Make "summary" the default display instead of "graph".
    • Set outdated to FALSE by default.
Enhancements
  • Simplify the Target Markdown example.
  • Warn about unnamed chunks in Target Markdown.
  • Redesign option system to be more object-oriented and rigorous. Also export most options to HPC workers (#475).
  • Simplify config system to let API function arguments take control (#483).
  • In tar_read() for targets with format = "aws_file", download the file back to the path the user originally saved it when the target ran.
  • Replace the TAR_MAKE_REPORTER environment variable with targets::tar_config_get("reporter_make").
  • Use eval(parse(text = readLines("_targets.R")), envir = some_envir) and related techniques instead of the less controllable source(). Expose an envir argument to many functions for further control over evaluation if callr_function is NULL.
  • Drop out.attrs when hashing groups of data frames to extend #507 to expand.grid() (#508).
  • Increase the number of characters in errors and warnings up to 2048.
  • Refactor assertions to automatically generate better messages.
  • Export assertions, conditions, and language utilities in packages that build on top of targets.
  • Change GITHUBPAT to GITHUB_TOKEN in the tar_github_actions() YAML file (#554, @eveyp).
  • Support the eval chunk option in Target Markdown (#552, @fkohrt).
  • Record time stamps in the metadata time column for all builder targets, regardless of storage format.

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