Re: [Rd] Problem exporting table with many columns to dbf

From: Roger Bivand <Roger.bivand_at_nhh.no>
Date: Wed, 31 Aug 2011 10:35:24 +0000

Nacho Uve <nachouve <at> gmail.com> writes:

>
> Hello,
>
> I'm newbie in R and I have a problem exporting a table with many columns to
> a dbf file.

In many sources, the maximum number of fields is said to be 128 or 255. I have seen a reference to 1024. It varies a great deal with the software being used. DBF is certainly not a good choice for writing objects with many columns. The page refered to on ?write.dbf:

http://www.clicketyclick.dk/databases/xbase/format/dbf.html#DBF_STRUCT

gives 128 fields; on googling for "DBF maximum number of fields", I see that:

http://www.rhinocerus.net/forum/lang-clipper/193953-maximum-fields-per-record-dbf.html

gets to 1023/4, but there are reports of very varying behaviour across different applications. Anything over 128 may be tempting fate.

> I found an error when I open the result DBF file on other software and also
> importing it on R again.
>
> Here a example snippet of the problem (on a GNU/Linux OS):
> http://pastebin.com/0SMJqqwb
>
> Is it a bug?

No, more an infelicity of a legacy format with unspecified extensions.

Hope this clarifies,

Roger

>
> Thank you,
> Nacho V



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