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

Wayde Allen wallen at boulder.nist.gov
Wed Aug 16 14:20:08 MDT 2000

On Wed, 16 Aug 2000, Archer Sully wrote:

> David wrote:
> > 
> > * Write a grammar for your data file format (you do not need to admit
> >   to anyone that you did it). ...
> > 
> > * I have no idea how practical this is in your setting.  But you might
> >   consider an alternative (actually an addition) to defining a
> >   file-format: provide a library of (object-oriented?) functions that
> >   enable people to write your standard files without even knowing that
> >   they are doing it.  
> Both these suggestions raise important points in favor of an XML
> definition for this format.  At this point in time, I see little 
> benefit to defining a format that isn't XML based.

This is hard to refute since I basically agree with you on this one.  

The one problem I see though is that we somehow need to get these files
into a graphing program, a statistics package, spreadsheet, etc..  Are
these packages going to support XML as a native input data type any time
soon?  The meas file was designed around the input format that these kinds
of programs currently use.  With XML I think we'd need to create an XML to
flat-file converter program to make use of existing programs. 

If nothing else, this excercise may give us some insight into what we may
want/need for an XML document type declaration.

- Wayde
  (wallen at boulder.nist.gov)

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