Making more usable the CSV reports?

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giovanni.toffoli
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Making more usable the CSV reports?

Postby giovanni.toffoli » Jan 31, 2020 4:25 pm

Hi,
I'm not a musician, but recently I had the opportunity to know and appreciate EM 7: I have been requested by people working in an EU project to support some initiatives for the promotion of music education. Currently I should add to a collaborative learning platform a module for reading EM reports, processing their content and sending records of activity in a standard format to a repository that traces also many other kinds of learning experiences.

I was confident that I wouldn't encounter any particular difficulties, since EM can export logs of activity and achievements as student reports in CSV format. However, I'm now realizing that said reports are not easy to parse, because in reality their format is highly ambiguous: the same comma character can occur as field separator, as a decimal separator and inside the value of text fields. My software code can't work out such ambiguity, and I can't even configure MS-Excel or OpenOffice Calc to make them read correctly the data rows in the CSV reports.

But luckily a very simple solution is available: to generate the CSV files using the TABulation character, instead of the comma, as the field separator. It is also common to enclose text strings in double quotes, but this does not entirely solve the problem.
May I suggest that you make the modification above? I think it would represent a small but significant improvement. Thank you!

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Quentin
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Re: Making more usable the CSV reports?

Postby Quentin » Feb 03, 2020 4:03 am

Hello,

Thanks for pointing this out. Yes, it seems that it can be a problem if your decimal separator is also a comma in your OS. We will find a good universal solution to this, but until then, you could maybe set your decimal separator to a dot (.) in Windows' regional settings prior to importing the file, until a better solution is available in the CSV export function of EarMaster.
- Because in Music, We're All Ears... -

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giovanni.toffoli
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Joined: Jan 31, 2020 3:20 pm

Re: Making more usable the CSV reports?

Postby giovanni.toffoli » Feb 06, 2020 7:07 am

Hi Quentin,
thanks for your kind response. But it doesn't address entirely the issue I raised.

The reports include 3 contiguous text columns; in Italian: Lezione, Corso and Attività.
Each text column can contain commas as part of its value, and this really occurs in practice. So, the ambiguity persists.
Also, your suggestion of changing the Windows' regional settings should apply to the export of the results, not to the import of the files.

All in all, I still believe that my proposal (using the tab character as field separator, at least as an option) should be seriously considered.

Thank you again. Best, Giovanni

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Quentin
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Re: Making more usable the CSV reports?

Postby Quentin » Feb 11, 2020 2:27 am

Hi Giovanni,

Yes you are right, the problem persists because of titles. Please be assured that we have taken your feedback very seriously from the start and are actually going to change the formatting of the CSV files. I just wanted to give you a quick temporary fix to move on with your work right now, as the format change will take some time to include in the software.
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