[R] Trouble pulling data from a messy ASCII file...

jim holtman jholtman at gmail.com
Wed Dec 17 21:05:25 CET 2008

It would be helpful if you could show what the output would be for the
example given.  Exactly what are 'values' and what would be the
'headings'.  As mentioned before, you can use readLines and then parse
the data you want, but something like Perl might be easier, but it is
hard to tell from the mail.

On Wed, Dec 17, 2008 at 2:37 PM, Titan8883 <jplaney at gmail.com> wrote:
> Hi all,
> I am a new graduate student who is also new to R. I am ok with the basics,
> but the problem I am having right now seems beyond what I can do..so I am
> looking for advice. I am trying to pull data from flat ASCII files, but they
> do not have a "nice" structure so a simple "read.table" doesn't work. An
> example first half of a data file is below:
> ----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
> 19 c:/data/WF-100/2008/20080911/trk/20080911.013115.007.17.txt
> 10 s   name of program that wrote this file trkplt   name of program that
> wrote this file
> 10 GORDON   machine that generated this file   machine that generated this
> file
> 10     3.7 version of program
> 10     3.6 version of this data file
> 10    5.81 version of Universal Library
> 10 20081121.145730 when this file was written
> 10 Windows_XP   operating system used   operating system used
> *
> *       radar characteristics
> 11 WF-100
> 11 20000000  A/D rate, samples/second
> 11 7.5  bin width, m
> 11 800  nominal PRF, Hz
> 11  0.25  nominal pulse width, microsec
> 11 0  tuning, volts
> 11 3.19779  nominal wave length, cm
> -----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
> ..the file goes on from there...
> How would I go about getting this data into some kind of useful format? This
> is one of about 1000 files I will need to go through. I would ideally like
> to get these into a format with each data file as a row with columns for the
> various values with the description text removed(version of program, file
> version, tuning volts, etc...).
> I'm not looking for a cut and paste answer, but perhaps some direction on
> where I should start. I have only done basic .csv, table, and line inputs up
> until now.
> Thanks for any advice
> --
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Jim Holtman
Cincinnati, OH
+1 513 646 9390

What is the problem that you are trying to solve?

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