Traces saved in CSV format?


Dear Developer Studio users,
as we are completely reworking the Target Management part, we are wondering about the file format to be used to save traces. Instead of saving them in a raw text file, we should use a CSV format in order to ease further data manipulation (filtering, searching, reordering, etc…).

Please let us know if throwing away the raw text file format could have negative impacts for you…


The advantage of the plain text form, of course, is that it can be directly viewed, printed, etc without requiring any for of processing at all.

CSV tends to be rather harder for a human to read without first passing it through some sort of “formatter”…

Note also that there are various variations (and incompatible interpretations) on the theme of “CSV”; eg, I once had trouble with a French “CSV” file - which turned out to be because the separators were not commas at all, but semicolons! (apparently, this is common in France?)

The current text format is quite “regular” - so it’s not really hard to process anyhow.

I think it is, in fact, TAB-separated - isn’t it?


I prefer plain text.


Thanks for your answers
It’s true that different separators are used for CSV files (even if it’s assumed to be Comma Separated Values…)
Your example is probably true, as in France we use the comma to write decimal values (e.g. we write 1,2 instead of 1.2), so that’s probably why the semicolon separator was used (instead of simply “quoting” values and keep the comma separator…)
However, most of utilities which are able to handle CSV files can configure the separator when importing data… but not all of them…

We’ll have a thought about that… Maybe a configurable separator will be the best choice.


If you make TAB one of the separator options, I think that will end-up giving the same result as TMT’s current “plain text” output…?

I think you would also need to make the “quote” character configurable - with ‘None’ being one of the options…


Yes, actually such a plain text file with TAB as a separator can be considered as a kind of CSV file…
And you’re right, giving the possibility to configure the “quoting” is a good thing.