Re: [R] assignment of inidividual variables from spss save files

From: Thomas Lumley <tlumley_at_u.washington.edu>
Date: Tue 14 Jun 2005 - 01:00:58 EST

On Mon, 13 Jun 2005, BXC (Bendix Carstensen) wrote:

> The key to solving your problem is that read.spss per default
> gives you a *list* and not a *dataframe* (can anyone explain this
> choice of default?).
>

The reason for the default is speed.

It's possible that the default could be changed to make it easier to use for people who don't read the help page. I haven't measured the speed difference recently, but it used to be significant. IIRC the reasoning was that you would often want just a few variables from a data file, in which case subsetting before creating a data frame was a worthwhile saving.

I have certainly had complaints that reading just a few variables from a large Stata file is slow (because it does produce a data frame first)

         -thomas



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