W3C home > Mailing lists > Public > public-csv-wg@w3.org > February 2014

Re: Scoping Question

From: Ross Jones <ross@servercode.co.uk>
Date: Fri, 21 Feb 2014 16:52:53 +0000
Cc: public-csv-wg@w3.org
Message-Id: <9F0749C1-E7E2-4798-A79F-13964D5B8D6C@servercode.co.uk>
To: Jeni Tennison <jeni@jenitennison.com>
One of the things that has also worrying me is 'how does RDF fit into approach 2?' If at all?

Iím concerned that the non-technical issues that turn people off RDF might also affect what could be a reasonably simple format.  I think part of the reason that some groups of developers prefer working with CSV is because of that simplicity, whatever its flaws.  Is a close relationship to RDF et al in scope?

I am glad that you mentioned the backward compatibility story, surely that has to be an extremely high priority.

Ross


On 21 Feb 2014, at 16:31, Jeni Tennison <jeni@jenitennison.com> wrote:

> Hi,
> 
> [Only just got net connection to enable me to send this.]
> 
> A scoping question occurred to me during the call on Wednesday.
> 
> There seem to be two approaches that we should explicitly choose between.
> 
> APPROACH 1: Work with whatís there
> 
> We are trying to create a description / metadata format that would enable us to layer processing semantics over the top of all the various forms of tabular data that people publish so that it can be interpreted in a standard way.
> 
> We need to do a survey of what tabular data exists in its various formats so that we know what the description / metadata format needs to describe. When we find data that uses different separators, pads out the actual data using empty rows and columns, incorporates two or more tables inside a single CSV file, or uses Excel spreadsheets or DSPL packages or SDF packages or NetCDF or the various other formats that people have invented, we need to keep note of these so that whatever solution and processors we create will work with these files.
> 
> APPROACH 2: Invent something new
> 
> We are trying to create a new format that would enable publishers to publish tabular data in a more regular way while preserving the same meaning, to make it easier for consumers of that data.
> 
> We need to do a survey of what tabular data exists so that we can see what publishers are trying to say with their data, but the format that they are currently publishing that data in is irrelevant because we are going to invent a new format. When we find data that includes metadata about tables and cells, or groups or has cross references between tables, or has columns whose values are of different types, we need to keep note of these so that we ensure the format we create can capture that meaning.
> 
> We also need to understand existing data so that we have a good backwards compatibility story: it would be useful if the format we invent can be used with existing tools, and if existing data didnít have to be changed very much to put it into the new format. But there will certainly be files that do have to be changed, and sometimes substantially.
> 
> 
> My focus is definitely on the second approach as I think taking the first approach is an endless and impossible task. But some recent mails and discussion has made me think that some people are taking the first approach. Any thoughts?
> 
> Cheers,
> 
> Jeni
> --  
> Jeni Tennison
> http://www.jenitennison.com/
> 
Received on Friday, 21 February 2014 16:53:19 UTC

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