[R] Huge Dataset Dates Span two Lines

David Winsemius dwinsemius at comcast.net
Thu Jan 8 22:41:22 CET 2015

On Jan 8, 2015, at 10:20 AM, DVL wrote:

> I'm trying to import a many gigabyte .txt file to analyze. It is asterisk
> delimited. I'm having an issue with the date field in the dataset. In the
> first 165 lines dates are listed as :
> Then on the 166th line and in other places the date spans two lines: 
> This causes a problem because R thinks it has reached the end of a row in
> the table. How can I solve this?

It would probably be easiest to edit the file in a text editor. I suppose you could also read the file in with readLines() and do the work all in R but that sounds a bit more painful than option 1 to my reading. If the problems are only those exactly as you describe, this could be an untested outline of a solution:

dat <- readLines("/pat/fil.ext")
marks <- nchar(dat) == 10
marks <- grepl("[*]", dat)
# append shortened lines after broken fragments
dat[ marks ] <- paste(dat[ marks ], dat[ c(head(marks,-1), FALSE) ] )
final <- dat[ ! c(head(marks,-1), FALSE) ] # remove shorter lines

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David Winsemius
Alameda, CA, USA

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