The importance of file extensions in open data has been underscored by the Nairobi-based Local Development Research Institute (LDRI), reports NaijaAgroNet.
This importance was brought to the fore by the co-founding director at LDRI, Mr. Stephen Nyumba in his recent presentation in Nairobi-Kenya, during a workshop for the Comprehensive Africa Agriculture Development Programme (CAADP) Journalists Network held at the Hilton Hotel, recently.
According to TechTerms Computer Dictionary, a file extension or ‘simply extension’ is the ending of a file that helps identify the type of file in operating systems such as Microsoft Windows. In Microsoft Windows, the file extension is a period that is often followed by three characters, but may also be one, two, or four characters long. For example, the filename "myfile.txt" has an extension of ".txt", which is a file extension associated with text files.
Nyumba in his paper entitled “Open Data for Agriculture: An Overview, the Concept and Application” stressed the imperative of file extensions in exploration of the open data contents.
The LDRI director also highlighted some kinds of file formats open data content come with, such as the Comma Separated Values (CSV), the XLS file which is a spreadsheet extension file created by Microsoft Excel, and assumed the most widely-used spreadsheet programme and comes in either XLS or XLSX.
NaijaAgroNet also gathered that XLSX file formats, are the extensions of Microsoft Excel versions created in 2007 and later.
Nyumba, equally said that open data comes as a Portable Document Format (PDF) file, while DOC an abbreviation of 'document') is a filename extension for Word Processing documents, most commonly Microsoft Word Binary File Format and have since been extended to even Word Perfect file format. Even as the DOCX file extension is a Microsoft Word Open XML Format Document file.
Nyumba emphasized that datasets and Application Programming Interface (API) also come in XML which stands for Extensible Markup Language, pointing out that some of the extension file formats could sound like jargons, but it is crucial to know a little of some of these formats, mostly for media practitioners who stand in-between the data content and the populace who ought to understand the gist in the story, no matter how complicated the data may be or look.
He further said that LDRI focuses on supporting African Union (AU) member states in their efforts to end hunger, poverty and reduce inequality through data, even as with good datasets, good stories
Remmy Nweke/ED. Ops
... Linking agrobiz, sustainable environs, people & technology
Pix: Steve Nyumba