Re: [Rd] Bug in read.table?

From: Ben Bolker <bbolker_at_gmail.com>
Date: Sun, 07 Nov 2010 22:04:12 +0000 (UTC)

 <jgarcia <at> ija.csic.es> writes:

>
> Thanks. Yes, quote="" solves the problem.
>
> I would never say, however, from the documentations, that this was causing
> the duplicate records. Rather, I would have expected some kind of
> warning/error message.
>
> And, yes, I knew that, through duplicate(), R solves gracefully this
> specific problem. Just thought this could be of interests for R devel.
>

  A bit of a meta- point here: there may indeed be a bug here (it's the kind of obscure "corner case" that someone may not have tested), but it's unlikely to get noted as such and fixed unless you can come up with a clear analysis of what is happening and how the misinterpretation of quote characters is leading to duplication of records. (You, or someone else -- recognizing that this may be beyond your skill level. It might be that 'just' very careful thought and analysis of the behavior described in the documentation would explain this, or one might have to dig through source code in R or C.) Problems with unescaped/unrecognized quote characters are very common.

 Otherwise, this will likely be dismissed as a ("doctor, it hurts when I do this"; "well then, don't do that!") sort of situation.

  Ben Bolker



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