[Rd] download.file does not process gz files correctly (truncates them?)

Joris Meys jori@mey@ @ending from gm@il@com
Thu May 3 16:27:50 CEST 2018

Thank you Henrik and Martin for explaining what was going on. Very

On Thu, May 3, 2018 at 4:21 PM, Jeroen Ooms <jeroenooms at gmail.com> wrote:

> On Thu, May 3, 2018 at 2:42 PM, Henrik Bengtsson
> <henrik.bengtsson at gmail.com> wrote:
> > Use mode="wb" when you download the file. See
> > https://github.com/HenrikBengtsson/Wishlist-for-R/issues/30.
> >
> > R core, and others, is there a good argument for why we are not making
> this
> > the default download mode? It seems like a such a simple fix to such a
> > common "mistake".
> I'd like to second this feature request. This default behaviour is
> unexpected and often leads to r scripts that were written on
> mac/linux, to produce corrupted files on windows, checksum mismatches,
> etc.
> Even for text files, the default should be to download the file as-is.
> Trying to "fix" line-endings should be opt-in, never the default.
> Downloading a file via a browser or ftp client on windows also doesn't
> change the file, why should R?

I third the feature request.

> On Thu, May 3, 2018 at 3:02 PM, Duncan Murdoch <murdoch.duncan at gmail.com>
> wrote:
> > Many downloads are text files (HTML, CSV, etc.), and if those are
> downloaded
> > in binary, a Windows user might end up with a file that Notepad can't
> > handle, because it would have Unix-style line endings.
> True but I don't think this is relevant. The same holds e.g. for the R
> files in source packages, which also have unix line endings. Most
> Windows users will use an actual editor that understands both types of
> line endings, or can convert between the two.
> Downloading-file should do just that.

Again, I agree. In my (limited) experience the only program that fails to
properly display \n as a line ending, is Notepad. But it can still open the
file regardless. If line ending conflicts cause bugs, it's almost always a
unix-like OS struggling with Windows-style endings. I have yet to meet the
first one the other way around.


Joris Meys
Statistical consultant

Department of Data Analysis and Mathematical Modelling
Ghent University
Coupure Links 653, B-9000 Gent (Belgium)

Biowiskundedagen 2017-2018

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