[R] Creating a dataframe from a vector of character strings

From: Cliff Clive <cliffclive_at_gmail.com>
Date: Thu, 14 Apr 2011 14:04:49 -0700 (PDT)


I have a vector of character strings that I would like to split in two, and place in columns of a dataframe.

So for example, I start with this:

beatles <- c("John Lennon", "Paul McCartney", "George Harrison", "Ringo Starr")

and I want to end up with a data frame that looks like this:

> Beatles = data.frame(firstName=c("John", "Paul", "George", "Ringo"),

                       lastName=c("Lennon", "McCartney", "Harrison",
"Starr"))
> Beatles

  firstName lastName
1      John    Lennon
2      Paul McCartney
3    George  Harrison
4     Ringo     Starr


I tried string-splitting the first vector on the spaces between first and last names, and it returned a list:

> strsplit(beatles, " ")

[[1]]
[1] "John" "Lennon"

[[2]]
[1] "Paul" "McCartney"

[[3]]
[1] "George" "Harrison"

[[4]]
[1] "Ringo" "Starr"

Is there a fast way to convert this list into a data frame? Right now all I can think of is using a for loop, which I would like to avoid, since the real application I am working on involves a much larger dataset.

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