[R-SIG-Mac] Foreign and UTF-8 on OS X

EJ Nikelski nikelski at bic.mni.mcgill.ca
Mon Jan 30 22:16:28 CET 2006

Hi List,

    I brought this issue up in the R-help list a few months ago, and
they recommended that, as the problem looked Mac environment-related to
them, I bring it up here.

    In particular, when I use the foreign package to export a dataframe
to SPSS, the data file looks good, but the command file contains a mix
of ASCII and UTF-8 quotation marks. For example, executing ...

>write.foreign(test.df, "datafile.dat", "codefile.sps", package="SPSS")

yields ...

DATA LIST FILE= !!!datafile.dat!!!  free
/ subjID AR.efkt SR.efkt Efkt AR.corr SR.corr w.tgtPrt w.tgtUrt w.prmRrt
w.prmUrt s.tgtPrt s.tgtUrt s.prmRrt s.prmUrt tgtPrt tgtUrt prmRrt prmUrt  .

subjID "subjID" ... ... ...

where !!! are UTF-8 left and right quotes. The quotes in "subjID" are
ASCII, and thus cause no problem.

Why am I getting a mix of UTF-8 and ASCII? Is it valid to mix UTF-8 and
ASCII in the same file? ... or is this an error? ... or is something
incorrect in my environment?

I am running Panther 10.3.9 on an iBook G4
> version
platform powerpc-apple-darwin7.9.0
arch     powerpc
os       darwin7.9.0
system   powerpc, darwin7.9.0
major    2
minor    2.1
year     2005
month    12
day      20
svn rev  36812
language R

Ideas?  Thanks in advance.


E. James Nikelski, Ph.D.
Postdoctoral Research Fellow
Bloomfield Centre for Research in Aging
Lady Davis Institute for Medical Research
Sir Mortimer B. Davis - Jewish General Hospital
McGill University

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