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Method for Converting SYLK to Fixed-Length File

IP.com Disclosure Number: IPCOM000060216D
Original Publication Date: 1986-Mar-01
Included in the Prior Art Database: 2005-Mar-08
Document File: 1 page(s) / 12K

Publishing Venue

IBM

Related People

Dolifka, CS: AUTHOR

Abstract

A method is described which provides a way to convert a SYLK file to a "pre-padded" fixed-length file and reduce processing time. The SYLK file format is such that cells that appear contiguous in the spreadsheet may not be stored contiguously in the SYLK file, i.e., field 1 of record 1 may not be stored in close proximity to field 2 of record 1. This makes it impossible to go through the SYLK file sequentially and write out new records sequentially. We are converting to a fixed-length file, however, since after the first pass through the SYLK file the lengths of each field are known and how many records will be in the new file is also known, the offset from the beginning of the file where the field contents should be stored can be calculated for each field.

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Method for Converting SYLK to Fixed-Length File

A method is described which provides a way to convert a SYLK file to a "pre- padded" fixed-length file and reduce processing time. The SYLK file format is such that cells that appear contiguous in the spreadsheet may not be stored contiguously in the SYLK file, i.e., field 1 of record 1 may not be stored in close proximity to field 2 of record 1. This makes it impossible to go through the SYLK file sequentially and write out new records sequentially. We are converting to a fixed-length file, however, since after the first pass through the SYLK file the lengths of each field are known and how many records will be in the new file is also known, the offset from the beginning of the file where the field contents should be stored can be calculated for each field. A new file containing all blanks is created to have the size of the new file. By sequentially going through the SYLK file, the location where the field should be stored in the new file is calculated and the blanks in the new file at that location are over-written. This method allows the SYLK file to be processed sequentially on the second pass. The new file is already initialized with blanks, and, hence, there is no need to do any padding of fields. A specific record from a fixed-length file of records may be accessed quickly by maintaining a buffer containing a portion of the records from the file to be accessed. By always keeping track of the record number of...