function getAE from ArrayExpress needs update because EBI has switched to https
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Bernd Klaus ▴ 600
@bernd-klaus-6281
Last seen 2.9 years ago
Germany

Dear ArrayExpress development team,

EBI services (<https://www.ebi.ac.uk/services>), including ArrayExpress have switched to https on October 1st 2017.  The function getAE from the ArrayExpress Bioconductor package needs an update, as any retrieval fails like so:

library(ArrayExpress)

getAE("E-MTAB-5225")
Unknown IO error failed to load external entity "http://www.ebi.ac.uk/arrayexpress/xml/v2/files/E-MTAB-5225"
Error: 1: Unknown IO error2: failed to load external entity "http://www.ebi.ac.uk/arrayexpress/xml/v2/files/E-MTAB-5225"

Inspired by

<https://stackoverflow.com/questions/23584514/error-xml-content-does-not-seem-to-be-xml-r-3-1-0>

I have uploaded a gist that uses RCurl::getURL to fix this

<https://gist.github.com/b-klaus/f2a502109f852702bf7efc5ad5c0bd11>

I only change two lines of code in the function, my new getAE code:

baseURL = "https://www.ebi.ac.uk/arrayexpress/xml/v2/files"
xmlURL = getURL(paste(baseURL, accession, sep = "/"))

old getAE code

baseURL = "http://www.ebi.ac.uk/arrayexpress/xml/v2/files"
xmlURL = paste(baseURL, accession, sep = "/")

Thanks for updating!

Bernd

arrayexpress xml rcurl http EBI • 1.5k views
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Sorry, could you please tell me, or point me to a reference, how to fix a .R file such as getAE.R?

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The team will update the function. In the meantime you can simply use my function https_getAE in the the github gist linked to above in order to make it work again.
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Thanks, I managed to edit getAE.R using trace("getAE.R", edit=TRUE). I simply copy and paste your function. Thank you. 

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@wolfgang-huber-3550
Last seen 8 weeks ago
EMBL European Molecular Biology Laborat…

I was informed by the ArrayExpress package maintainer Ugis Sarkans that they plan to restore http access to ArrayExpress APIs.

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After looking more at this - the package will need to be fixed, like Bernd suggested. HTTP->HTTPS redirect is in place already (e.g., http://www.ebi.ac.uk/arrayexpress/xml/v2/files/E-MTAB-5225 works in a browser), the problem is the XML package that cannot deal with this.

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IMO Bernd's solution looks pretty good for minimal changes to the package code.  It just uses RCurl to read the xml into a character variable, which is then parsed with XML in the same way as before, rather than giving the URL directly.

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