R – Split data frame string column into multiple columns


I'd like to take data of the form

before = data.frame(attr = c(1,30,4,6), type=c('foo_and_bar','foo_and_bar_2'))
  attr          type
1    1   foo_and_bar
2   30 foo_and_bar_2
3    4   foo_and_bar
4    6 foo_and_bar_2

and use split() on the column "type" from above to get something like this:

  attr type_1 type_2
1    1    foo    bar
2   30    foo  bar_2
3    4    foo    bar
4    6    foo  bar_2

I came up with something unbelievably complex involving some form of apply that worked, but I've since misplaced that. It seemed far too complicated to be the best way. I can use strsplit as below, but then unclear how to get that back into 2 columns in the data frame.

> strsplit(as.character(before$type),'_and_')
[1] "foo" "bar"

[1] "foo"   "bar_2"

[1] "foo" "bar"

[1] "foo"   "bar_2"

Thanks for any pointers. I've not quite groked R lists just yet.

Best Solution

Use stringr::str_split_fixed

str_split_fixed(before$type, "_and_", 2)