[R] RE: (CSV files)

Patrick Connolly P.Connolly at hortresearch.co.nz
Sun Dec 10 22:10:22 CET 2000

According to Peter Dalgaard BSA:
|> Alexandre Fayolle <Alexandre.Fayolle at logilab.fr> writes:
|> > On Thu, 7 Dec 2000, Yves Gauvreau wrote:
|> > 
|> > > I would have tought that it was common knowledge that a file with a .csv
|> > > extention under windows, mean a file with comma separated values. Excel
|> > > knows how to handle many types of data files and a CSV file is just one of
|> > > these types.
|> > 
|> > Be careful to mind your internationalisation settings, though. On a french
|> > installation of windows, for example, the default decimal separator is the
|> > comma (','), and a csv file will use a semi-colon (';') as a separator
|> > (which can cause errors of read on a another machine with different
|> > parameters).
|> Danish settings will do that too as well as those of large parts of
|> continental Europe. Hence the existence of read.csv2() and in 1.2 also
|> read.delim2(). In fact some versions of Excel will write .csv in that
|> format and then try to use the comma as separator when reading the
|> file back in....
|> (And SAS uses '.' and ',' when im/exporting CSV irrespective of
|> locale, whereas SPSS uses ',' and ';' according to windows settings.
|> So over here they can't read eachothers CSV files without substantial
|> wand-waving. Sigh.)

Perhaps I've missed something in the last 6 years or so, but I can't
understand why anyone would bother with CSV files when what Excel
calls a "Text (Tab delimited) *.txt" file seems to avoid any need for
wand waving.

Maybe I live in a sheltered environment.....


Patrick Connolly
Mt Albert               It's better to do nothing than to waste time
Auckland                                      ..... Viktoras Kulvinskas
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