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Metadata below CSV data in the same file

From: Alf Eaton <eaton.alf@gmail.com>
Date: Tue, 11 Nov 2014 18:28:37 +0000
Message-ID: <CAJVrAaTDw5+OzkPyNJV9yBrWENjXKHc4ZRxk34D2YfXsSiZhUQ@mail.gmail.com>
To: "public-csv-wg@w3.org" <public-csv-wg@w3.org>
I found some CSV files recently[1] which have an interesting approach
to adding metadata: appending it at the end of the file, after a blank
line.

This means that a parser has to skip to the end of the file to read
the metadata, so no information about how to parse the file can go
there, but it's still a reasonable place to put free-text
documentation about the data (in this case it includes notes about the
data fields, license terms, and attribution details).

It does, however, rely on the CSV parser knowing that a blank line
means "end of the data", rather than "missing value" or something
else, so this is perhaps another option that should be configurable in
the CSV Dialect Description Format.

There's a discussion on StackOverflow that mentions four possible
meanings of a blank line in CSV data:
https://stackoverflow.com/questions/12750171/meaning-of-empty-line-in-csv-file

Alf

[1] http://apps.kew.org/herbcat/navigator.do -> run a search, then
choose one of the options under "Download specimen records"
Received on Tuesday, 11 November 2014 18:29:26 UTC

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