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The Ruby Way: Solutions and Techniques in Ruby Programming, Third Edition by André Arko, Hal Fulton

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Chapter 15. Ruby and Data Formats

“Your information, sir,” the Librarian says. “Are you smart enough to tie that information into YOU ARE HERE?” Hiro says.“I’ll see what I can do, sir. The formats appear to be reconcilable.”

—Snow Crash, by Neal Stephenson

In computing, it is a fact of life that when information becomes complex enough, it evolves its own “mini-language” in which that information is best expressed. More often, it evolves multiple such mini-languages. We call these file formats or data formats.

Anyone who has used a computer can name many file formats. There are image formats such as GIF, JPG, and PNG; document formats such as DOC and PDF; “universal” formats such as CSV, JSON, and XML; and countless thousands of proprietary data ...

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