Re: Reading csv with ;
- To: mathgroup at smc.vnet.net
- Subject: [mg99691] Re: Reading csv with ;
- From: Bill Rowe <readnews at sbcglobal.net>
- Date: Mon, 11 May 2009 06:25:09 -0400 (EDT)
On 5/10/09 at 5:13 AM, georgevw3 at mac.com (George Woodrow III) wrote: >Quite right. IF you know what to look for, the Documentation Center >points you to the Option "Table", and on that page you will find an >example that uses FieldSeparators. Yes, clearly for searching any database it is useful to know what to search on. The Documentation Center is no different than any other search system in this respect. >My mini-rant has to do with finding the right thing to do when you >don't already have some idea of the answer. The short answer is with no idea of what the answer is, that is what you are looking for, you are almost certain not to find it easily if at all. This is a characteristic of any search system including the Documentation Center. >In this example, I would imagine that someone would think: "I have some >data to import that is just like CSV, except the commas are semicolons. >What would I do?" It is not obvious to me that you would use the >"Table" option in Import, and further have to use the "FieldSeparators" >option as a sub-option to "Table". Once you define a problem in a certain way, in this example starting with "CSV" format, it is difficult to think of other approaches. Your example above could easily have started with the observation the desired outcome is just like "Table" except whitespace or tabs are replaced with semicolons. Phrased this way, the idea of looking at the "Table" format for Import looks more intuitive. Or perhaps another way of thinking about this particular issue would be to see CSV as a specific example of Table, substituting commas for tabs or whitespace. >The task is something a beginner might need to do. There should be a >documented example that shows how to do it that is more accessible,and >there should be a page for field separators (as plain English words) >that would have a tutorial about importing text or ASCII data with >different formats. Did you try searching for "field separators" in the Documentation Center? When I do this, the fourth entry links to the desired page. But beyond this particular example, what you really seem to be saying is finding a desired bit of information using the Documentation Center is often not easy or intuitive. And I agree. But I believe this is not a specific problem with the way the Documentation Center is implemented, but a reflection of the inherent difficulty of searching a large set of things for one particular thing. That is, there is no simple search method guaranteed to find what you want and always be "intuitive".