[R] RODBC partial success

M. Edward (Ed) Borasky znmeb at aracnet.com
Sun Apr 8 01:20:55 CEST 2001

On Sat, 7 Apr 2001, Prof Brian D Ripley wrote:

> On Sat, 7 Apr 2001, M. Edward (Ed) Borasky wrote:
> > I finally managed to get R 1.2.2 on my Windows 2000 system to communicate with
> > a database on the same system with RODBC!
> And what so hard about it?

To make a long story short, I have been using ODBC in the environment I describe
later in the original post for about a year. I started using file DSNs as
opposed to the other two types because the Microsoft help facility steers the
beginner in that direction by implying that they are the most flexible of the
three. Since they worked for Excel, Access and Minitab, I expected them to work
for R. So when I first started trying RODBC, I assumed that I was typing
something wrong rather than that there was something inferior about file DSNs.

> Have you read the help page?  It says the argument should be a `registered
> data source name'.  Is a file DSN a `registered data source name'?  Not to
> my understanding.

I don't draw distinctions that fine; I'm a software engineer, not an attorney.
:-) As far as I'm concerned, Microsoft considers a file DSN to be a DSN.

> As far as I understand it file DSNs are not supported, although it would be
> easy for someone who wanted them to contribute the code needed.  You just
> need to call SQLDriverConnect rather than SQLConnect, as I read it.

The documentation says nothing about this issue. I don't have much of the
Microsoft documentation available, and what I do have is virtually unreadable
except by people who have spent many years digging into the rather unique
programming style that Windows uses. While this is not a forum for anti-
Microsoft rants, let me just say that I've been in scientific computing for
nearly 40 years now and I can't recall a single example of worse documentation
than that produced by Microsoft. Producing readable books about the Windows
environment is a multi-million dollar industry as a result.

znmeb at aracnet.com (M. Edward Borasky) http://www.aracnet.com/~znmeb

What is it about

 @replace(@string(@log(10000)*@atan(1),9),0,0, at char(112)&@char(105)&@char(61))

that you don't understand?

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