About a month ago, I downloaded an open source visualization tool for a quick evaluation. I had planned on using my trusty 276,000 record, several dozen attribute delimited file of census data to see how the tool performed with real world volumes. Alas, I ran into a problem right away. My data file, which consists of roughly equal numbers of numerics and string fields interpreted as category values, failed the load. It seems the tool could only handle commas as delimiters, whereas my file used semi-colons. And I couldn't simply change all semi-colons to commas, since the text fields had embedded commas that would subvert the load with a comma delimiter. What I needed to do was first surround each text field with quotes to protect the embedded commas, then change the semi-colon delimiter to a comma.
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