Common Ground 2000
Application Independent Information
see: Screen Shots
A format designed as a transport of data between all software
products. The objective is to represent all digital data in a single format that
is accessible to humans and Adams
This format was created in
1995 for a mapping conference. After working 25 years translating propriety mapping
systems, databases, plot files, and tape formats, I decided to design a
single format that would handle the same job, CG2 is the result.
The result is that CG2 can duplicate all digital files. My original intent was to create a transport media
that could be read by humans and Adam and EASY to program, as it turns out the
format could replace all digital data structures, this would mean that we would
have no more propriety data structures (.doc, .mdb, .gif, oracle, sybase, ...)
which is: application independent information.
care system could use CG2 to standardize patient information. CG2 had no
inherent limits, a single cg2 file could contain the contents of your complete
company's network, millions of files, thousands of formats, and terabytes of
data, and be accessed just as fast (index it). My recommendation is to use CG2 as the format for the
application's data stored on disk. In doing so the information would be
application independent. An application would be able to read and write a cg2
file independent of any other application.
It took 6 months to
design, a tagged comma separated values (CSV) format.
I added 6 enhancements to a standard CSV file:
Field names and format
Hierarchical data model
Structure (1 level)
multiple tables in 1 file
Elements of CG2 used in existing systems:
||used in files that need them
||NAME / FORMAT
||used in a few well defined files (i.e. databases)
||used is disk structures, never in data files or databases
||seldom used (i.e. IFF, Oracle and CableCad, very rare)
Existing file formats (i.e. XML) generally have none of the
elements of CG2, however any file read all of these elements must be determined.
Most of the information about a file is stored in "code" and never seen. Files
used for transport or ones that are popular may have a published specification
which always seem to have 1400 pages, (PDF, SDTS, TIGER, DOC, ...) not
much help, generally takes 6 to 8 months of work to move into code.
Some Examples of the more complex file structures:
.PDF 1 file, multiple structures (objects)
.DWG, 1 file, multiple sections
HTML, 1 file
.ACCDB 1 file, multiple sections and structures
Arc/Info multiple files,
sections and structures
Image A True ASCII representation
of a PNG bitmap image example
Video ASCII video format
The word "propriety" got me started 35 years ago
to stop information hijacking. "The Information I create I should own".
Cg2 Format Specification