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

Rolf Turner r.turner at auckland.ac.nz
Sun Dec 5 20:14:23 CET 2010

On 6/12/2010, at 3:00 AM, Duncan Murdoch wrote:

>> I was going to suggest using DIF rather than CSV.  It contains more
>> internal information about the file (including the type of each entry),
>> but has the disadvantage of being less readable, even though it is ascii.

	I don't think DIF is really the answer. My colleagues are familiar
	with the *.csv concept; they have never heard of ``DIF''.

	As I have said, we have had but few problems using *.csv.  Better the
	devil you know ...

	Furthermore I have to deal with data provided by various sources ``external''
	to the research project that I work for. I have to use the data that these
	sources provide, in the format in which they provide it.  If they give me
	*.csv files I count myself lucky.

	Finally, there seems to be no ``write.DIF'' function, i.e. there is no way
	to produce *.DIF output, as far as I can tell.  Hence it would not seem
	practical to use *.DIF as a data exchange standard.
>> However, in putting together a little demo, I found a couple of bugs in
>> the R implementation of read.DIF, and it looks as though it ignores the
>> internal type information.  Sigh.
> As of r53778, the bugs I noticed should be fixed.  read.DIF now respects 
> the internal type information, so it will keep character strings like 
> "001" as type character (unless you ask it to change the type).

	What does ``r53778'' mean?



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