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Starbase Data Table File Format


starbase uses an ascii file format used to store relational data base tables with a few magic characters deliniating columns and tables. When the table file format is combined with the starbase filter programs and the i/o library a convient data base with editable ascii files is the result.

A table contains three parts.

  1. An optional keyword/ value header.
  2. Column definition/ width lines.
  3. Data columns.

    The optional keyword/ value portion of the header consists of any number of free text line containing comments and keyword/ value lines. If a table contains an optional keyword/ value portion the first line of the header names the table. This name may be used with the -t option of the column program to extract and process this table by name.

    A keyword value line consists of

            keyword [tab] value
    A keyword may contain may have an array of values and is written
            keyword [tab] value [tab] value ...

    Header lines which contain no tabs or whose initial keyword portions are not valid keyword identifiers are comments. Header values can be accessed by name in expressions passed to the starbase programs.


        This table is named Table1
        This is a text comment in the header of a table.  This portion may ramble
        on and on but should not contain any line with ONLY dash (-) and tab
        characters.  The dash line is the indication that the data table is about
        to begin.
        Key 1
        Keys        1       2       3
        There are two header values above.  Key is a scalar value, Keys is an 
        RA  Dec
        --  ---
        0:0:0       0:0:0
        This is another table it is in the same file as Table1 and is delimited
        from the first by a ^L (form feed) character.  A tables name is given by
        the first  line in the table.  This table is named Table2.
        RA  Dec     Comment
        --  ---     -------
        1:00:00     2:00:00 This as an RA DEC pair in sexagesimal format.

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