Re: More than you ever wanted to know about csv files (Re: to csv or not to csv)

I did provide advice on what I believe the semi-safe subset of csv is, see
items 1-5 near the end of my message.

There are so many ***conflicting*** csv implementations in the world, that
it is hard to get any closer.  RFC-4180 (which arrived decades later than csv
files) is not particularly helpful -- it partially describes an ideal
not implemented
by anyone.

To my way of thinking, CSV applies to the middle layer.

Please read "very important note" again.  We cannot have uninterpreted data in a
spreadsheet, so the semantic layer is not optional.

People get extremely emotional about csv files for some reason.   It's
basically "csv files
obviously mean what I think they mean and everyone else is an idiot."
From a spreadsheet
implementor point of view, the loud and ***conflicting*** demands of
csv users is not worth
the effort.  I have taken a good amount of abuse on that account.

With respect to documentation: maybe.  There are parts of the whole
thing for which I may
change things without notice.  It is by nature a bit of an AI system
that tries to make up for
the lack of semantics in csv files.  A full description would be very
complicated and in
practice worse than useless: it would actively prevent fixing things.

Oh, and I lied: Gnumeric doesn't look at the whole column for clues.
The first line might
contain a header, so it's mostly ignored.

You can file the bugs.  If you want to see what is going on for each,
set GNM_DEBUG=stf.
That gives you a hint or two.


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