Software is not data

As a means to store data, plain text is just as good as a spreadsheet, and plain text is a lot more accessible. The spreadsheet file can only be opened by the spreadsheet program, or by (another) spreadsheet or database program which can import the file without mangling it. A plain text file, in contrast, can be opened with any text editor or word processor, or even in a terminal with the cat command. But storage and access aren’t the whole story. I also want to add, delete, find and modify data items. I might want to use the data for various calculations. I definitely want to generate reports based on querying the data. Can I do all that with plain text?

Get the Free Newsletter!

Subscribe to Developer Insider for top news, trends, & analysis