Question on the "csv" library

Simon Brunning simon at
Fri Aug 28 08:42:29 CEST 2009

2009/8/28 John Machin <sjmachin at>:
> Mark, there exist parallel universes the denizens of which use strange
> notation e.g. 1.234,56 instead of 1,234.56

When displaying data, sure.

> and would you believe they
> use ';' instead of ',' as a list separator ...

CSV is a data transfer format, not a display format. Locale specific
stuff like this has no place in it. Dates, IMHO, should be in the ugly
but unambiguous ISO 8601 format in a CSV. It's for import and export,
not for looking pretty.

Besides - CSV; the clue's in the name. ;-)

> Excel perfidiously
> gives them what they expect rather than forcing them to comply with
> The One True Way.

When people export to a comma separated value file, they are almost
certainly expecting a file containing values separated by comas. If
Excel isn't giving them this by default, it's broken.

Simon B.

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