A brand-new tabular format

tabular, table, row, xls, xlsx, csv, rows
pip install row==0.1.0.dev3



It's a reference implementation of the new tabular file standard discussed at dataprotocols repository.

It looks like a CSV but have stronger rules, lowering ambiguation and complexity of processing (see "Specification" below).


  • The first line must be the header;
  • Rows must be separated by character 0x0A (new line, often represented as \n). Any 0x0A in the file are row separators (no exceptions);
  • Fields must be separated by 0x09 (tabular space, often represented as 0x09). Any 0x09 in the file are field separators (no exceptions);
  • Field values must be encoded in UTF-8 without BOM (byte-order-marker). Binary data should be encoded as base64 or any other format that uses UTF-8 (or a subset of it, like ASCII) as output;
  • A line starting with # is considered a comment and must be completely ignored by the parser (in any other position # is considered data);
  • Escape sequences for use inside field data:
    • \n for new line (0x0A),
    • \t for tabular space (0x09),
    • \N for null (absence of data),
    • \# to start a new row with # as the first character of the first field,
    • \\ for back slash (0x5C).

Example of Usage

Giving the file brazilian-cities.row, we can read it like this:

# coding: utf-8

import row

cities = row.parse_file('brazilian-cities.row')
cities_rio = [city for city in cities if city['state'] == u'RJ']
for city_data in cities_rio:
    area = float(city_data['area'])
    inhabitants = int(city_data['inhabitants'])
    density = inhabitants / area
    print(u'  area        = {:8.2f} km²'.format(area))
    print(u'  inhabitants = {:8d} citizens'.format(inhabitants))
    print(u'  density     = {:8.2f} citizens/km²'.format(density))


First be sure you installed all dependencies:

pip install -r requirements-development.txt

Then, to run the tests, just execute:

make test