[R] read.table( ... comment.char="#") truncated my data

Ren_Yu@hgsi.com Ren_Yu at hgsi.com
Fri Oct 11 18:11:08 CEST 2002

Dear all,

I found that the new feature of the comment.char="#"  argument in the 
read.table function truncated my data while the data set actually contains 
 '#'. We analyze lot of data that contain '#'. This is really annoying and 
it is also not compatible earlier version of R. I searched the R archive 
and found the following message for the scan function. Is it possible to 
change the default to " " in read.table ?



On Tue, 19 Feb 2002, Steve Cassidy wrote: 
> I've just discovered the recent addition of the comment.char arg to 
scan, a 
> useful feature no doubt but the default value of # rather than "" breaks 
> code which looks for # as a delimeter in a file and provides a messy 
> incompatability with earlier versions of R and with Splus. 
> Is there any chance that this default could be changed to ""? 
It already has been. The NEWS for R-patched / R-devel says: 
    o The default has been changed to scan(comment.char="") for 
        consistency with earlier code (as in the previous item). 
Brian D. Ripley,                  ripley at stats.ox.ac.uk
Professor of Applied Statistics,  http://www.stats.ox.ac.uk/~ripley/
University of Oxford,             Tel:  +44 1865 272861 (self)
1 South Parks Road,                     +44 1865 272860 (secr)
Oxford OX1 3TG, UK                Fax:  +44 1865 272595
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