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reading a TAB-separated file

From: Nicolai Stange
Subject: reading a TAB-separated file
Date: Sat, 16 Sep 2006 13:18:20 +0200
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i want to read a  file whith tab-separated columns.
I cannot use the Octave or octave-forge function because I need to create a 
Matrix containing the real strings and NOT data of internal type number for 
later obtaining of the precision of data entered in the file (it's data from 
experient and I must  know precision).
I want to allow multiple tabs next to each other an whitespace in front and on 
the back of each columns.

For example 

     string1, string1 continued          \t\t        string2    \t   string3   

My strategy is to read line by line and separate a line into its pieces.

Note: My regexp in octave 2.1.73 FIRST needs the pattern and then the string 
not as stated in online documentation. And it doesn't take any options 

So: Find the position of tabs and spaces following and preceeding them and 
substr the other part with the data:

regexp (\\s*\t+\\s*, line)

Problem: This regular expression ONLY finds the first occurence and position 
goes only until the last tab in the first columns separation NOT including 
the damn whitespace between "\t\t" and "string2".

Any hints?

Thank you very much

Sincerely yours 

Nicolai Stange

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