Reply to post: CSV annoying

Geneticists throw hands in the air, change gene naming rules to finally stop Microsoft Excel eating their data

Anonymous Coward
Anonymous Coward

CSV annoying

It doesn't help that nobody made any attempt early on to make CSV abide by any rules at all and then have programs that export in this format stick to them. Excel seems to have a few things it can put in the first line.

I build electronics and more often than not the easiest way to share co-ordinate data for components (aka a centroid file) is using a "CSV" . Exported from the Cad package this usually has some text at the top, author, owner, units etc - standards bodies could easily have agreed a format for that early on. These same programs will happily export fields that contain the separation character or worse, use tabs or spaces combined with excessively long fields that then break any attempt at using Calc or Excels methods of handling them.

And then one you have hacked and chopped at the supplied file so it imports vaguely sensibly you find you've missed the column Calc (yes it does it too) or Excel randomly decides you don't want your leading zeros because it surely must be a number. I don't understand why this sort of thing is only done to how it is displayed not how it is stored so you could undo it. Even a nice checkbox, treat all columns as text by default on the import dialogue or in the settings would be good.

Yes custom tools could do the job better but writing such a tool than also handles all the many ways people/CAD packages format the document is not a trivial job, all these mean the same thing... R1,R2,R3,R4,R5 or R1-5 or R1..5 or R1-R5 or R1,2,3,4,5,

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