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

Ben Bolker ben at zoo.ufl.edu
Fri Oct 11 22:49:23 CEST 2002

 I would guess the answer is yes (although I'm not in R-Core), but in the
meanwhile you can easily override the definition with your own by putting
something like

old.read.table <- read.table
read.table <- function(...) {

in your .Rprofile or .First function, which will work
as long as you never use the comment.char argument explicitly
with your new version of read.table ...

(warning: I haven't tested this)

On Fri, 11 Oct 2002 Ren_Yu at hgsi.com wrote:

> 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 ?
> Thanks,
> Ren
> 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 
> my 
> > 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). 

318 Carr Hall                                bolker at zoo.ufl.edu
Zoology Department, University of Florida    http://www.zoo.ufl.edu/bolker
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