[FRPythoneers] Re: [lug] MEAS Data file format

Bruce Raup braup at kryos.colorado.edu
Fri Aug 11 12:16:16 MDT 2000


Interesting format ideas.  I've had to come up with similar formats for a
couple of different projects in the past.  I generally like the concepts.

I understand you're trying to come up with a format for a particular range
of disciplines, but perhaps some of this can be further generalized.  I
have a few comments.

> The current list of established keywords is: 
>    #              - Any line beginning with # followed by whitespace is
>                     an undefined keyword.  This allows for comments
>                     internal to the measurement file itself.


>    #CUSTOMER:      - Who these data belong to

If data are produced by one person (or group) and archived by another
(which is an issue I face), then how about having, instead, the pair
#DATA_HOME: and #DATA_PRODUCER: ?  If yet a 3rd party owns the data, you
could have a #DATA_OWNER: as well, but perhaps that's too complicated.

>    #DATATYPE:      - Are the numbers represented as COMPLEX or MAGPHASE
>    #DATE:          - Date the data was taken
>    #DEVICE:        - The relevant device ID(s)
>    #FILENAME:      - The name of this data file
>    #FOLDER:        - The ID number of the measurement folder
>    #FREQSCALE:     - The frequency units (Hz, KHz, MHz, GHz, etc.)

How about generalizing this to #UNITS, or even #UNITn:, where n is the
column number?  Perhaps having #NUM_COLS: would also be useful.

> The following is a sample meas datafile:
> #VERSION: HighPower 1.0.0
> #DEVICE: 813592
> #DATE: Tuesday, April 18, 2000

I suggest the ISO standards for date and time (e.g. 2000-04-18).  See
http://www.cl.cam.ac.uk/~mgk25/iso-time.html.  Such a format is not tied
to a particular human language, and is easier to handle by a computer.

[As a side issue, the text at the URL above doesn't address how to
represent a range of dates.  I've begun to use things like 2000-09-17~22
to express a range within a given month.  Has anyone seen a standard way
to express date ranges?]

In general I like this.  When I've had to come up with similar formats,
I've never bothered to search for existing similar formats.  It looks like
you've done some searching, i.e. you based this format on another
one.  Are there other similar formats out there that might be directly


Bruce Raup
National Snow and Ice Data Center                     Phone:  303-492-8814
Campus Box 449, University of Colorado                Fax:    303-492-2468
Boulder, CO  80309-0449                            Bruce.Raup at colorado.edu

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