The Story of CSV: A Simple History

CSV, or Comma-Separated Values, might seem like a modern invention, but its roots stretch back further than you might think. Let's explore its journey through time, referencing key milestones along the way.

1970s - The Birth of CSV

CSV's origins can be traced back to the early days of computing. In 1972, the IBM Fortran (level H extended) compiler under OS/360 already supported CSV. This was a time when computers were just starting to make their way into everyday life, and CSV provided a simple way to transfer data between systems.

1980s - Growing Popularity

By the 1980s, CSV was gaining traction. The term "comma-separated value" and the abbreviation "CSV" were already in use by 1983. As computers became more common, CSV became a popular choice for storing and sharing data, thanks to its simplicity and versatility.

1990s - Mainstream Adoption

Throughout the 1990s, CSV continued to flourish. Its ease of use made it a favorite among users, and it found its way into various applications, from business reports to scientific research. Despite its widespread use, CSV remained a community effort, with contributions from people all over the world.

Present Day - Ubiquitous Usage

Today, CSV is everywhere. Its plain-text format makes it compatible across different systems and architectures, and its human-readable nature makes it easy to work with, even without perfect documentation. Standardization initiatives, such as RFC 4180 in 2005, have helped formalize CSV's definition, ensuring its continued relevance in the digital age.

So there you have it – the story of CSV, from its humble beginnings to its widespread use today. It's a reminder that sometimes, the simplest solutions are the best.

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