Re: [Rd] Large discrepancies in the same object being saved to .RData

From: Paul Johnson <>
Date: Sat, 10 Jul 2010 13:33:39 -0500

On Wed, Jul 7, 2010 at 7:12 AM, Duncan Murdoch <> wrote:

> On 06/07/2010 9:04 PM, wrote:

>> Hi developers,
>> After some investigation I have found there can be large discrepancies in
>> the same object being saved as an external "xx.RData" file. The immediate
>> repercussion of this is the possible increased size of your .RData workspace
>> for no apparent reason.
> I haven't worked through your example, but in general the way that local
> objects get captured is when part of the return value includes an
> environment.

Hi, can I ask a follow up question?

Is there a tool to browse *.Rdata files without loading them into R?

In HDF5 (a data storage format we use sometimes), there is a CLI program "h5dump" that will spit out line-by-line all the contents of a storage entity. It will literally track through all the metadata, all the vectors of scores, etc. I've found that handy to "see what's really in there" in cases like the one that OP asked about. Sometimes, we find that there are things that are "in there" by mistake, as Duncan describes, and then we can try to figure why they are in there.


Paul E. Johnson
Professor, Political Science
1541 Lilac Lane, Room 504
University of Kansas

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