On Thu, 2010-03-18 at 12:12 -0400, Paul M Foster wrote:

> On Thu, Mar 18, 2010 at 08:57:00AM -0700, Tommy Pham wrote:
> <snip>
> > 
> > Personally, I find working with fixed widths is best.  The text file
> > might be larger but I don't have worry about escaping any type of
> > characters ;)
> I find this impossible, since I never know the largest width of all the
> fields in a file. And a simple explode() call allows pulling all the
> fields into an array, based on a common delimiter.
> Paul
> -- 
> Paul M. Foster

Explode won't work in the case of a comma in a field value.

Also, newlines can exist within a field value, so a line in the file
doesn't equate to a row of data

The best way is just to start parsing at the beginning of the file and
break it into fields one by one from there.

The bit I don't like about characters other than a comma being used in a
"comma separated values" file is that you can't automatically tell what
character has been used as the delimiter. Hence being asked by
spreadsheet programs what the delimiter is if a comma doesn't give up
what it recognises as valid fields.


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