[Rd] binary file access [was "RFC: System and time support"...]
Martin Maechler <email@example.com>
Tue, 25 Jul 2000 09:47:55 +0200 (CEST)
>>>>> "Duncan" == Duncan Murdoch <firstname.lastname@example.org> writes:
Duncan> On Thu, 20 Jul 2000 08:33:01 +0100 (BST), you wrote in message
>> I've been looking over system utility functions that we might want
>> to add to R. A few come out of specific needs, others from looking
>> at other systems and what people are using system() for. I've taken
>> account of Paul Gilbert's comments posted here a while ago (and I
>> think covered all except the use of mailers).
>> We currently have
>> date *.socket file.create file.exists file.remove file.append
Duncan> Is there any interest in adding binary file access to the base?
yes, quite a bit ! (e.g., someone here doing image analysis, would have
liked to be able to do this)
Duncan> I think it would be really useful, and have put together a
Duncan> prototype (still for Windows only) that's on my web site at
I first thought "great! .." when you announced this a while ago, but
"Windows only" & relying on Delphi, i.e. proprietary software,
stopped me to even have a look, sorry.
We are committed primarily to the POSIX "clarification" of ANSI C and freely
An aside :
Your binary files are read into/from "character", right?
I think (and others have talked similarly, here) that byte wise
reading and writing of files should go together with a "raw" atomic data
type in R -- and then we probably would want to do it "S version 4" (Sv4)
compatibly (not that I have looked what this would mean exactly).
which needs even a bit more extensions in "base R" than we have now.
Coming back to your package:
Is it worth/fast enough to port this to POSIX C?
Have you ever compared it to the (very general) approach taken by Sv4 ?
That would be something worth following at least in parts, I think.
Martin Maechler <email@example.com> http://stat.ethz.ch/~maechler/
Seminar fuer Statistik, ETH-Zentrum LEO D10 Leonhardstr. 27
ETH (Federal Inst. Technology) 8092 Zurich SWITZERLAND
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