[R] The behaviour of read.csv().

Peter Ehlers ehlers at ucalgary.ca
Fri Dec 3 02:04:59 CET 2010

On 2010-12-02 16:26, Rolf Turner wrote:
> On 3/12/2010, at 1:08 PM, Phil Spector wrote:
>> Rolf -
>>     I'd suggest using
>>      junk<- read.csv("junk.csv",header=TRUE,fill=FALSE)
>> if you don't want the behaviour you're seeing.
> The point is not that I don't want this kind of behaviour.
> The point is that it seems to me to be unexpected and dangerous.
> I can indeed take precautions against it, now that I know about it,
> by specifying fill=FALSE.  Given that I remember to do so.
> Now that you've pointed it out I can see that this is the reason
> for the different behaviour between read.table() and read.csv();
> in read.table() fill=FALSE is effectively the default.
> Having fill=TRUE being the default in read.csv() strikes me as
> being counter-intuitive and dangerous.

This is not to argue with your point re counter-intuitive,
but I always run a count.fields() first if I haven't seen
(or can't easily see) the file in my editor. I must have
learned that the hard way a long time ago.

Peter Ehlers

> 	cheers,
> 		Rolf

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