I have used various spreadsheet programs from visicalc onwards. I use a spreadsheet for calculations, light database, forms, and anything else I see fits. For serious heavy lifting database use a spreadsheet will not do. A csv file is not serious heavy lifting database.
I have tweaked Excel to import data without mangling it, but I am a bit more proficient than the average Excel user. Even when I have disabled everything I could find (cannot remember which version), Excel would still present a date in a pulldown which had data that resembled a date.
I still spend way too much time disabling or working around Excel's propensity to alter what I am trying to enter.
For those commentards suggesting some automated solution to this problem, How do you think we got into this mess? The default should be just leave the data as it is.
There was no need to specify a standard for CSV or TAB files. They are quite simple. Each "record" is a line in the file terminated by the system's text file EOL character sequence. Each "record" has the same number of "fields". "Fields" are separated by a comma for CSV or a tab for TAB, (the delimiter cannot be part of the data). Any CSV or TAB file not following these simple rules was invalid. Both gave the ability to have varying length fields and having more compact files. The alternative was fixed field and/or record length which was usually inefficient at storage use, but usually gave better performance and there was no delimiter to worry about appearing in the data.