[R] read.spss Error reading system-file header

Prof Brian Ripley ripley at stats.ox.ac.uk
Tue Oct 26 20:07:37 CEST 2004

On Tue, 26 Oct 2004, Baize, Harold wrote:

> Bj?rn Stollenwerk <b.stollenwerk at gmx.de> wrote:
> > I had and still have got the same problem. There were two columns in the 
> > data frame which contain just missing values. When I deleted those the 
> > impord seemed to work, but there is still a warning message.
> > Warning message:
> > C:\test.sav: Unrecognized record type 7, subtype 13 encountered in 
> > system file.
> This warning message has been discussed a few times. It occurs when
> read.spss reads a file from SPSS 12.0 or higher. Beginning with SPSS 12
> the file format was changed to accommodate long variable names. It seems
> logical that SPSS added a record to their file format to hold the long
> variable names, while keeping the short (eight character) variable names
> to be compatible with older versions. The read.spss function has not
> been updated. It reads the short names, ignores the long names, and
> produces the warning you cite. There does not seem to be any error in
> reading the data, other than the warning and continued use of short
> variable names. I brought this up more than a year ago, just after SPSS
> 12 was released. I e-mailed the author (Saikat DebRoy) of the read.spss
> function, but did not get a response, I don't know if he got the
> message. It would be nice to update the function to read the longer
> variable names and be rid of the warning.

Please send your patch to the maintainer (R-core, not Saikat DebRoy, if
you read the DESCRIPTION file).  (If you were not offering to do this,
please don't volunteer other people to do work for you.)

Brian D. Ripley,                  ripley at stats.ox.ac.uk
Professor of Applied Statistics,  http://www.stats.ox.ac.uk/~ripley/
University of Oxford,             Tel:  +44 1865 272861 (self)
1 South Parks Road,                     +44 1865 272866 (PA)
Oxford OX1 3TG, UK                Fax:  +44 1865 272595

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