CSV and REV?

Garrett Hylltun garrett at paraboliclogic.com
Tue May 2 02:27:01 EDT 2006

Richard Gaskin wrote:
> If you absolutely must support CSV, please consider joining a handful of 
> us curmudgeons on a mission to save the world from the unnecessary 
> horror that is CSV:  support for reads, but not for writes.

Do I get an official membership card and all?  Decoder Ring too!  :-)

> The last thing the world needs is yet another app keeping that 
> half-baked format alive. :)

Yeah, but it's like poking someone in the side with your finger and 
annoying the hell out of them.  ;-)  Actually, just working on this for 
myself, not for a public consumption app.  I have a lot of csv files 
from days gone by, and as time goes on I'll be updating older apps to 
use tab delimited instead of comma.

> It was a crappy idea when it was created (how did it even survive more 
> than two minutes in the first meeting where it was proposed?), and it 
> just gets more self-evidently crappy every year that passes with more 
> and more variant implementations polluting the datasphere.

I'll never understand why the comma was used as the delimiter in the 
first place.  I can think of several characters that would have better 
served the purpose.

Was there ever an RFC or anything for CSV?

> I have an app that reads CSV but will export only in tab-delimited 
> format -- and it will use the most sensible form I've seen yet: 
> FileMaker Pro's, in which in-data returns are gracefully accommodated as 
> ASCII 11, and any quotes in the file are only part of the data, never a 
> delimiter.

Sounds so sweet and logical.  But doesn't that make things too easy? ;-)

> Not long ago I had an opportunity to help contribute to a specification 
> for a format for affiliate data feeds, and at its heart it's the FMP tab 
> format.



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