[Rd] Importing csv files

Frank E Harrell Jr f.harrell at vanderbilt.edu
Thu Dec 23 14:57:05 CET 2004

There is a recurring need for importing large csv files quickly.  David 
Baird's dataload is a standalone program that will directly create .rda 
files from .csv (it also handles many other conversions).  Unfortunately 
dataload is no longer publicly available because of some kind of 
relationship with Stat/Transfer.  The idea is a good one, though.  I 
wonder if anyone would volunteer to replicate the csv->rda standalone 
functionality or to provide some Perl or Python tools for making 
creation of .rda files somewhat easy outside of R.

As an aside, I routinely see 30-fold reductions in file sizes for .rda 
files (made with save(..., compress=TRUE)) compared with the size of SAS 
binary datasets.  And load( ) times are fast.

It's been a great year for R.  Let me take this opportunity to thank the 
R leaders for a fantastic job that gives immeasurable benefits to the 
Frank E Harrell Jr   Professor and Chair           School of Medicine
                      Department of Biostatistics   Vanderbilt University

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