Odp: [R] New version of read.spss requires scripts to be re-written

Michal Bojanowski bojaniss at poczta.onet.pl
Wed Mar 13 14:25:18 CET 2002

> Hi there. I'm delighted to see that the latest version of read.spss
> categorical value labels, but in doing so causes trouble if most of the
> values of a variable are continuous measures (eg. weight in kg), and just
> few are categorical (eg. -3 not measured -2 not applicable etc.), as we've
> been warned.
> Effectively the default function is now different. Old scripts that worked
> now need editing.
> I suppose that the lack of value label handling in the old read.spss was a
> bug, so any improvements should be the default. However, the current
> function 'doesn't work any more'.
> (It may again when read.spss' handling of this sort of variable is further
> upgraded)
> Is there any agreement as to whether updated functions should be
> backwards-compatible by default?
> Stuart

I fully agree with the backwards-compatibility requirement.

Because I have to use SPSS everyday (for 'compatibility' reasons at work) I
read.spss() very often. I have one suggestion for further improvements of
this function.
I work on quite large data files (1600 vars, 10000 cases), which cannot be
loaded to R because of
lack if memory. It would be very usefull to be able to 'browse' SPSS files
'variablewise'. That is
for example to 'extract' only a group of variables (even a single one)
without loading the whole data.
Making a bunch of smaller files in SPSS and than importing them to R with
read.spss() is
rather inconvinient.

What do You think of such an improvement?

On www.spss.com I came across of an spssI/O library which is free and (as is
written in attached manual)
contains function for SPSS data files manipulation.

I would gladly do sauch a function by myself, but I do not know C at all.




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