[Rd] read.table() errors with tab as separator (PR#9061)
p.dalgaard at biostat.ku.dk
Wed Jul 5 13:21:29 CEST 2006
Prof Brian Ripley <ripley at stats.ox.ac.uk> writes:
> On Wed, 5 Jul 2006, Peter Dalgaard wrote:
> > John.Maindonald at anu.edu.au writes:
> >> (1) read.table(), with sep="\t", identifies 13 our of 1400 records,
> >> in a file with 1400 records of 3 fields each, as having only 2 fields.
> >> This happens under version 2.3.1 for Windows as well as with
> >> R 2.3.1 for Mac OS X, and with R-devel under Mac OS X.
> >> [R version 2.4.0 Under development (unstable) (2006-07-03 r38478)]
> >> (2) Using read.table() with sep="\t", the first 1569 records only
> >> of a 1821 record file are input. The file has exactly two fields
> >> in each record, and the minimum length of the second field is
> >> 1 character. If however I extract lines 1561 to 1650 from the
> >> file (the file "short.txt" below), all 90 lines are input.
> > Notice that the single quote is a quote character in read.table (as
> > opposed to read.delim, which uses only the double quote, to cater for
> > TAB-separated files from Excel & friends).
> >>  "865\tlinear model (lm)! Cook's distance\t152"
> > ^
> > !!!!
> > (This reminds me that we probably should shift the default for
> > comment.char too since it leads to similar issues, but it seems not to
> > be the problem in this case.)
> This seems to imply that we should change the default for 'quote': to
> do so could break a lot of scripts. (Given how long the default has
> comment.char="#", I doubt if we should change that either.)
Sorry, unclear. We already change quote= for read.delim and read.csv,
and I was suggesting also to modify the default for comment.char for
those functions, but definitely not for read.table.
Arguably, those functions are there to handle file formats generated
by other programs, and it is unlikely that such programs will generate
comment lines starting with #, whereas we have learned that Excel will
occasionally generate fields like #NULL#, which mess up the parsing.
O__ ---- Peter Dalgaard Øster Farimagsgade 5, Entr.B
c/ /'_ --- Dept. of Biostatistics PO Box 2099, 1014 Cph. K
(*) \(*) -- University of Copenhagen Denmark Ph: (+45) 35327918
~~~~~~~~~~ - (p.dalgaard at biostat.ku.dk) FAX: (+45) 35327907
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