[R] read.xls (gdata) problem

Peter Engelbrecht peter at engelbrecht.dk
Tue Sep 6 09:44:10 CEST 2011

I've suddenly started seeing a consistent problem with read.xls.

No matter what xls file I try I always get an error message of this type:

Error in xls2sep(xls, sheet, verbose = verbose, ..., method = method,  : 
  Intermediate file
In addition: Warning message:
running command '"/usr/bin/perl"
"/Users/peter/dev/R/telenor pricelists/ild_price_processor/ILD priser
"1"' had status 255 
Error in file.exists(tfn) : invalid 'file' argument
Error parsing file '/Users/peter/dev/R/telenor
pricelists/ild_price_processor/ILD priser 2011.10.01.xls'.

E.g. using this code:
> fn = file.choose()
> read.xls(fn)
With many different .xls files, including ones I have read with read.xls in
the past.

When I try running the xls2csv perl script (which read.xls depends on)
directly from the command line I get the following error message:

$ perl xls2csv.pl ~/Downloads/900numre.xls ~/Downloads/900numre.csv 1 
Loading '/Users/peter/Downloads/900numre.xls'...
Error parsing file '/Users/peter/Downloads/900numre.xls'.

So it's pretty obvious the perl script part has broken down. The frustrating
things is that this worked perfectly fine until today, so I (or my system)
has clearly unknowingly changed some part of the configuration (I'm on OS

Any ideas?


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