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Old September 13th, 2016, 04:03 PM
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Question Standardized Data Format

So over in a Facebook group there is a discussion about building apps for Traveller and even integration via APIs. As I have been diving into web development and I learned more about XML it made me wonder why nobody has ever created a standard data format for exchanging information (such as character data, ship data, system info) between different applications using XML/XSD (or some other format that I don't know about).

NOTE: Please keep in mind that I am a NOVICE programmer and I can guarantee that there are tons of things I have no clue about, so be gentle if I am completely wrong about something)

I know some apps (like TravellerMap) allow you to get info in various formats (JSON, CSV, etc) via the API, but it seems to me that while CSV is great for large amounts of data (ie: sector data) that JSON requires a bit more programming know-how to use than XML would. But I am thinking more along the lines of character and ship data to be honest.

If there was a publicized XSD for character data then one app that generates characters could export them like that and people could use a variety of other apps to make character sheets. It would be pretty easy to read an XML file into Word or a PDF form to populate fields, and not much more difficult to use HTML/CSS to create a sheet from the XML.

The XML could be formatted in a way to be rule-system agnostic since tags can either be empty or simply not included if they are not applicable to a specific rule set. It would also be able to include a complete history (like the careers and a log), equipment lists, etc. And the same thing could be done for ships, though it might be a bit more complicated.

Is this something that has ever been discussed or talked about in the community? Is it even possible, or am I just off my rocker?
DickNervous aka Rich Neves
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