Summary: acs v.2.1.0 users who are experiencing problems with acs.fetch (especially on windows) may want to consider updating to version 2.1.1, now on CRAN.
Shortly after releasing acs version 2.1.0, I’d heard from some Windows users that the package was unable to connect to the API to fetch data. After troubleshooting a bit, it became clear that the problem stemmed from the package’s switch to https (which will be required by the Census API in late summer) and its reliance on the RCurl package, which didn’t seem to be playing nicely with Windows https and TLS authentication. Sorry!
To address the issue I’ve modified the package to use the httr package instead of RCurl, which I am told works better. CRAN confirms that this seemed like a wise approach, and some initial user testing confirms this – thanks, user community! The new version (2.1.1) is now live on CRAN; windows binaries expected soon.
If you’ve recently installed or updated to 2.1.0 and the functions are working for you, no need to update again; if you’re getting errors when trying to fetch data, I’d recommend you run another update:
> update.packages("acs", clean=T)
Don’t forget to reinstall or “api.key.migrate()” your api key if it doesn’t seem to have been migrated during install. I also strongly recommend you run “acs.tables.install()” as well – you only need to do this once per installation (or update), and it will really speed up the package.