hipread v0.2.1


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Read Hierarchical Fixed Width Files

Read hierarchical fixed width files like those commonly used by many census data providers. Also allows for reading of data in chunks, and reading 'gzipped' files without storing the full file in memory.



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hipread (hierarchical IPUMS reader) is a fork from tidyverse readr that allows for reading hierarchical fixed width text files, like those created by the CSPro software and commonly used by census data providers.

Compared to readr it is:

  • Able to natively read the "hierarchical" fixed width file format that IPUMS and some other census data providers use. These files can have multiple types of observations in them, each with their own specification of variables.

  • Better at reading gzipped data. It does not require loading the full file into a raw vector, which takes a large amount of memory, and prevents reading gigantic files altogether (because R can only store raw vectors of a certain size).

  • Less flexible. It only works on fixed width files, only accepts data of types character, double and integer, and is less detailed about the information it gives about parsing failures. This makes it easier for me to maintain.

I do not expect that this will be directly useful for too many people, so the documentation is a little bit light. Instead I expect most users will use this package through the ipumsr package. But, if you are interested and find something confusing, please let me know!


Install the development version from GitHub with:

# install.packages("devtools")

Functions in hipread

Name Description
hipread_example Get path to hipread's example datasets
callback Callback classes
hipread_long_chunked Read a hierarchical fixed width data file, in chunks
hipread_long Read a hierarchical fixed width data file
hip_fwf_positions Specify column-specific options for hipread
hipread_long_yield Read a hierarchical fixed width data file, in yields
hip_rt Create a record type information object
hipread-package hipread: Read Hierarchical Fixed Width Files
hipread_freqs Calculate frequencies from fixed width file without loading into memory
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Type Package
Contact ipums@umn.edu
License GPL (>= 2) | file LICENSE
Encoding UTF-8
LazyData true
LinkingTo Rcpp, BH
SystemRequirements C++11
RoxygenNote 6.1.1
NeedsCompilation yes
Packaged 2019-05-14 20:23:14 UTC; burkx031
Repository CRAN
Date/Publication 2019-05-14 21:20:03 UTC

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