Re: [Rd] Possible bug in read.fwf (PR#7350)

From: <ripley_at_stats.ox.ac.uk>
Date: Mon 08 Nov 2004 - 19:20:24 EST


There are two bugs, due to problems in this change (a version of which is in NEWS).

r30192 2004-07-08 04:05:38 +0100 (Thu, 08 Jul 2004)

multiline records, skipped columns in read.fwf. Added read.fortran for fixed format specifications like 3F4.2.

  1. If left with 0 lines to read, read.fwf loops away.
  2. 'skip' is passed on to read.table, but the skipped lines have been removed.

Fixed for 2.0.1.

On Mon, 8 Nov 2004 mase@is.titech.ac.jp wrote:

> Full_Name: Shigeru Mase
> Version: R 1.9.1 and 2.0.0
> OS: Debian Linux
> Submission from: (NULL) (219.35.150.115)
>
>
> I tried to read the following text file "test.txt" with 5 lines using
> read.fwf() function:
>
> # comment 1
> 1234567 # comment 2
> 1 234567 # comment 3
> 12345 67 # comment 4
> # comment 5
>
> In R 1.9.1, I got the following result (since I have R 2.0.0 installed now
> I cannot reproduce it now but, at least, my former record says so):
>
> > (x <- read.fwf("test.txt", width=c(2,2,3), skip=1, n=4))
> V1 V2 V3
> 1 12 34 567
> 2 1 23 456
> 3 12 34 5
>
> But, in R 2.0.0, the above command seems to run into endless loop, giving no
> response. On the other hand,
>
> > (x <- read.fwf("test.txt", width=c(2,2,3), skip=1))
> V1 V2 V3
> 1 1 23 456 # skipped first 2 lines
> 2 12 34 5 # skipped the last comment line
>
> By the way, the following gave the intended result, but skip the last
> comment line:
>
> > (x <- read.fwf("test.txt", width=c(2,2,3), skip=0))
> V1 V2 V3
> 1 12 34 567
> 2 1 23 456
> 3 12 34 5

That's correct: comment lines are skipped, and that is what 1.9.1 did.

> I have been puzzled and, seemingly, I could not find particular indications
> of relevent changes in the help document. I searched relevent bug reports on
> this site but seems there are none. I got the same behaviour report from a user
> of R 2.0.0 under MS Windows XP.

-- 
Brian D. Ripley,                  ripley@stats.ox.ac.uk
Professor of Applied Statistics,  http://www.stats.ox.ac.uk/~ripley/
University of Oxford,             Tel:  +44 1865 272861 (self)
1 South Parks Road,                     +44 1865 272866 (PA)
Oxford OX1 3TG, UK                Fax:  +44 1865 272595

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Received on Mon Nov 08 19:27:49 2004

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