[R] compress data on read, decompress on write

From: Ramon Diaz-Uriarte <rdiaz02_at_gmail.com>
Date: Thu, 28 Feb 2008 19:18:14 +0100

Dear All,

I'd like to be able to have R store (in a list component) a compressed data set, and then write it out uncompressed. gzcon and gzfile work in exactly the opposite direction. What would be a good way to handle this?


We have a package that uses C; part of the C output is a large sparse matrix. This is never manipulated directly by R, but always by the C code. However, we need to store that data somewhere (inside an R object) for further calls to the functions in our package. We'd like to store that matrix as part of the R object (say, as an element of a list). Ideally, it would be stored in as compressed a way as possible. Then, when we need to use that information, it would be decompressed and passed to the C function.

I guess one way to do it is to have C deal with the compression and uncompression (e.g., using zlib or the bzip2 libraries) and then use readBin, etc, from R. But, if I can, I'd like to avoid our C code having to call zlib, etc, so as to make our package easily portable.



Ramon Diaz-Uriarte
Statistical Computing Team
Structural Biology and Biocomputing Programme
Spanish National Cancer Centre (CNIO)

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Received on Thu 28 Feb 2008 - 18:27:22 GMT

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