Accession Number : ADA254260


Title :   A Standard File Format for Data Interchange


Corporate Author : ARMY TOPOGRAPHIC ENGINEERING CENTER FORT BELVOIR VA


Personal Author(s) : McDonnel, Michael


Full Text : https://apps.dtic.mil/dtic/tr/fulltext/u2/a254260.pdf


Report Date : Jul 1991


Pagination or Media Count : 11


Abstract : This paper defines a new format and an associated method for encoding data in a set of files. This new format has advantages of simplicity, efficiency, and readability over current formats and their associated methods. A new format is necessary because all current widely available file formats retain restrictions (such as fixed field lengths) that are no longer necessary with modern programming languages. The proposed format has a simple syntax and flexible semantics. The main advantage of PDEF is its lack of fix semantics. This allows unforeseen data types and dependencies to be encoded without modifying the basic format. The PDEF format is efficient both for computers and people. It is efficient for computers because it uses the powerful parsing tools available for the C programming language. It is efficient for people because it encodes data descriptions in a human-readable form, and the content of a data set can be understood without a user's manual. PDEF stands for Protean Data Exchange Format owing to the ability of this format to encode many types of data.


Descriptors :   *DATA PROCESSING , *COMPUTER PROGRAMMING , *SEMANTICS , *PROGRAMMING LANGUAGES , *SYNTAX , COMPUTER PROGRAMS , FORMATS , PAPER , PROTEINS(DERIVED) , EXCHANGE , LANGUAGE , CODING , HUMANS , EFFICIENCY , COMPUTERS


Subject Categories : Information Science


Distribution Statement : APPROVED FOR PUBLIC RELEASE