[Rd] RFC: type conversion in read.table

A.J. Rossini rossini@u.washington.edu
31 Aug 2001 05:20:33 -0700

>>>>> "BDR" == Brian D Ripley <Prof> writes:

    >> I would also be happier if we did not refer to the variables
    >> explicitly as `columns'.  (This sounds a bit stupid from the
    >> person who wrote write.table and introduced arguments
    >> `row.names' and `col.names'.  Although, at least one of these
    >> was modelled after an existing function).  E.g. something like
    >> read.table(......, caseNames, varNames, varClasses, .....)
    >> would be nice ...

    BDR> The problem is that what is being referred to *is* columns
    BDR> and not variables.  If you have row names on the file, the
    BDR> numbering is different.  So it matters to use sufficiently
    BDR> precise terminology.

I would tend to agree with Brian.  To me, caseNames / varNames
sounds a rather bit arrogant, since there are a number of other
"formats" (contingency tables come to mind) for which read.table is
one possible way for slurping in the data prior to munging it, though
I guess one could argue that this is an abuse of tools.


A.J. Rossini				Rsrch. Asst. Prof. of Biostatistics
U. of Washington Biostatistics		rossini@u.washington.edu	
FHCRC/SCHARP/HIV Vaccine Trials Net	rossini@scharp.org
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