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Software is not data

Nov 07, 2014, 14:00 (1 Talkback[s])
(Other stories by Bob Mesibov)

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?

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