I’ve been putting this off for a while but now is the time to get the discussion on this started. I had a very useful discussion with Martyn M1MAJ a few weeks back so it’s time to see what others think.
The current CSV file is quite slack in the exact specification. It doesn’t require that any embedded commas are wrapped in quotation marks. i.e. either of these lines would be valid:
MM0FMF, 14/04/2013, 14:15, GM/SS-001, 144MHZ, FM, 2M0NCM/P, Neil on Ben More, doing a fine job
MM0FMF, 14/04/2013, 14:15, GM/SS-001, 144MHZ, FM, 2M0NCM/P, “Neil on Ben More, doing a fine job”
This slackness means I’m limited in how I can automatically determine if the line is for an S2S or normal chase. I don’t want to change anything that affects any existing tools used to generate CSV files as that would annoy the pants off a lot of you. I mean I could just say from some date old format files will not work. But all that means is my email inbox will fill with complaints and queries and I don’t want that.
So I’m proposing the following in that an special identification field is added which indicates that this line of data is an S2S QSO followed by the activator call, activator summit and then the rest of the data as before.
ID_S2S, MM0FMF/P, GM/SI-100, 14/04/2013, 14:15, GM/SS-001, 144MHZ, FM, 2M0NCM, Neil on Ben More, doing a fine job
This means that data for S2S and non-S2S chaser QSOs can be intermixed into one single file. Existing software will still generate valid chaser files and new software will be able to generate data for the new format.
I’d welcome comments on what potential software authors think or just users in general. Maybe you can improve on this but remember you can’t change anything that breaks existing utilities.