[R] parsing dates in input file

From: Tim Coote <t.coote_at_tideway.com>
Date: Thu, 13 Dec 2007 17:11:53 -0000

I've hunted around to try to work this out and cannot find anything aposite, although there are exhortations to read News files and the fine manual in response to similar queries. Hope I haven't missed anything obvious.  

I want to read in csv files that contain dates, or date times. If I read them in directly:
x <- read.csv ("file")

the relevant dataframe column is of type string. It would be nice to read in in one go, but not necessary. If I parse the data and then try to overwrite the original column of the data frame: y <- strptime (x$datefield, "%d/%m/%Y")
x$datefield <- y  

I get an error:
Error in `$<-.data.frame`(`*tmp*`, "datefield", value = list(sec = c(0, :
  replacement has 9 rows, data has 16  

y has 16 values, as does x$datefield.  

I'm sure that this is a common problem. Has anyone got any pointers?  


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