If you use a simple, text-based format for your data, your future self may be very grateful.


I generally agree.

But some open binary formats at remarkably stable, like my beloved SQLite, which is immensely more reliable to store tabular data that CSV.
(Don't use CSV, it's a trap).

@sebsauvage Right on. I use SQLite a lot too.

I'm just saying that if you have some data in a well formed text format (even annoying, inflexible CSV), you will never regret it in 5 or 10 years. Fancy binary formats, dependent on specific versions of specific libraries, you may be very sad.

@sebsauvage @praxeology As already mentioned, plain-text formats are inherently human-readable and therefore superior to binary formats regarding robustness. Also I propose the following (unproven) theorem:

For datasets smaller than 10k records (i.e. everything for personal use), the time difference between parsing a binary format and parsing a (well-defined) plain-text format into memory is negligible on current hardware.

@praxeology I moved my TODO and note systems to text files and it pays dividends year over year. No more lock-in, unlimited portability.

@annika @praxeology You like to use grep? No problem. ctags? Yup. Desktop search on Mac? Ditto. Insane, unless you type a lot faster than what is considered physiologically possible, but also perfectly fine.

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