A Straightforward Way To Extend CSV With Metadata
Pekka Väänänen, Aug 19 2021.
CSV files (comma-separated values) are great but sometimes difficult to parse because everybody seems to have a slightly different idea what CSV means. The obvious solution is to transmit some metadata that tells what to expect but where do you put it? Well, how about a ZIP archive?
An archive with two files. The first file, say
format.txt, has the metadata inside and the second one is the original CSV file unchanged. This is still readable by non-technical users because ZIP files are natively supported by both Windows and macOS. People can double click on them like a directory and then double click again on the CSV to open it up in Excel.