CSV on the Web: Sidecars for Spreadsheets
If you share data on the web as delimiter-separated values – that is, as spreadsheets – there is a world of power-ups available to you.
The term “sidecar” is used for a functional addition. A motorcycle sidecar can carry things and people. A Kubernetes sidecar container has access to the namespace and storage volumes of it’s pod’s main container, and so supports auxiliary work. Unstructured documentation, e.g. a typical README file, is not a sidecar.
The W3C’s “CSV on the Web” (CSVW) working group published seven
documents, including a note on 25 identified use
cases and a
primer on effective use of its
recommendations in practice. In the simplest case, when you’re serving a csv file like
you also serve a JSON sidecar by adding
-metadata.json to the name (e.g.
mydata.csv-metadata.json), and you use the CSVW vocabulary to provide extra information about your