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A general description is here.
‘PACKAGE = ""’ was accepted in ‘.C()’ etc calls, although it was contrary to the documentation. It is now an error.
Omitting ‘PACKAGE’ in ‘.C()’ etc calls was supposed to make use of the DLL from the namespace within which the enclosing function was defined. It was less successful in doing so than it might be, and gave no indication it had failed.
A new search strategy is much more successful and gives a warning when it fails. In most cases this is because the entry point is not actually provided by that package (and so ‘PACKAGE’ should be used to indicate which package is intended) but in a few the warning indicates that an explicit ‘PACKAGE’ argument is needed.
A few recently added C entry points were missing the remapping to ‘Rf_’, notably ‘[dpq]nbinom_mu’. Packages using them need to be reinstalled.
‘smooth.spline()’ did not check that a specified numeric ‘spar’ was of length 1, and gave corrupt results if it was of length 0.