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Importing CSV schedules using Splendid City [ A Tutorial ]

Splendid City, as of version 3.5 (Lite and Professional) can import CSV schedules produced by 3rd party software and create Splendid City projects to be analyzed, published (Pro only), or exported as Splendid City xml object files.

A CSV (stands for Comma Separated Values) file is a plain text file with data columns separated by commas. Essentially, any text document can be organized into a CSV file by separating similar entry parameters into comma delimited rows. Most spreadsheet programs have the ability to save data in the CSV format. Here's an example that was exported from a Microsoft Excel spreadsheet (.xls file):

3, Team_A, Team_B, Sched_Field, 06/15/04 Tue, 08:30 AM, PRACTICE
4, Team_D, Team_E, Sched_Field, 06/15/04 Tue, 09:30 AM, PRACTICE
5, Team_C, Team_F, Sched_Field, 06/15/04 Tue, 10:30 AM, PRACTICE

In this example you have a pattern of three 'game' entries. Each comma would inticate a new game parameter or column. Let's examine the following game row entry:

3, Team_A, Team_B, Sched_Field, 06/15/04 Tue, 08:30 AM, PRACTICE

The first parameter [ 3, ] would indicate the schedule game INDEX.
The second, the HOME TEAM [ Team_A, ]
The third, the AWAY TEAM [ Team_B, ]
The fourth, the LOCATION [ Sched_Field, ]
Fifth, the event DATE [ 06/15/04 Tue ]
Sixth, the event START TIME [ 08:30 AM ]
And finally the event TYPE [ PRACTICE ]

Each game row follows the same pattern. Because this pattern exists it is possible to describe the information using the Splendid City CSV Import Panel user interface to translate this data into a form that Splendid City can understand. ( Splendid City project schedule )

Using The Splendid City CSV Import User Interface

Parameter preparation

Importing CSV data into Splendid City happens in two stages. Firstly, to invoke the Splendid City CSV import panel, users must describe the project where the newly imported schedule will reside. To do this one must already have a Splendid City project loaded and then it can be indicated by 'selecting' (mouse press) the targeted project in the Splendid City Project Viewer Tree (golden colored folder). Once the target project is selected, choose from the Splendid City application menu bar: File --> Project --> "Import CSV schedule..." to get the following view.

The Splendid City CSV import process takes place in two steps. The first step describes some of the import parameter formats, particularly the date, time and overall game formats. Suggested DATE (& TIME) or TIME choices exist in editable combo boxes. You can test the format specification by copy / pasting sample date data (from your CSV schedule) and testing whether you have defined an appropriate format for that sample data by pressing the 'Test' pushbutton. DATE (& TIME) or TIME formatting choices are described in the Date and Time patterns below.

Game format choices are described using a text field of custom Splendid City format key parameters described as follows.

BLANK inserts a blank column
ID Unique Game ID
HOME_T Home team
AWAY_T Away team
LOCATION Event location
OFFICIALS Event officiating game crew
DATE (& TIME) Event date or date and time if specified in the date and time format choices
START_TIME Event starting time
END_TIME Event end time
DURATION Event duration in minutes
TYPE Type of Event (see below)

Users can use these keys to describe the meaning of each game parameter so game row entries may be translated appropriately. Keys should be entered in a case sensitive manner (capitols) Game format specifications my be typed into the text field or selected from a pulldown menu choice made available by right clicking (macintosh use control key + mouse click) on the text field. Game formats can be tested as well using the 'Test' pushbutton.

Game formats require the HOME_T, AWAY_T, LOCATION parameters in order to be successfully parsed. Once a satisfactory result has been obtained by testing the three formats (primarily the game format as it generally contains the other two) users may click 'next' to further describe CSV record formatting or to proceed with importing the targeted CSV schedule.

Defining Record Formats

Some CSV files may be organized into patterns of record groups. In the example sited ,

3, Team_A, Team_B, Sched_Field, 06/15/04 Tue, 08:30 AM, PRACTICE
4, Team_D, Team_E, Sched_Field, 06/15/04 Tue, 09:30 AM, PRACTICE
5, Team_C, Team_F, Sched_Field, 06/15/04 Tue, 10:30 AM, PRACTICE

each record consists of only one line. This is generally the most common record format.

In the following example, records will be described using 'several lines' with the date data applied to each proceeding row.

"March 13, 2004",,,,,
DUSC White,vs,Brooklyn Italians,Pier 40,2:00,
SIU Cosmos,vs,BW Gott/Kosmos Blue,SI College,9:00,
Manhattan Kickers,vs,Brooklyn Patriots,Pier 40,1:00,

"March 20, 2004",,,,,
BW Gott/Kosmos Blue,vs,DUSC White,Brennan,8:30,
Brooklyn Patriots,vs,Brooklyn Italians,Caton,1:30,
SIU Cosmos,vs,Manhattan Kickers,Miller #6,9:00,

"March 27, 2004",,,,,
DUSC White,vs,Brooklyn Patriots,Pier 40,2:00,
Manhattan Kickers,vs,BW Gott/Kosmos Blue,Pier 40,3:00,
Brooklyn Italians,vs,SIU Cosmos,Verrazano front,10:00,


In the example above, a record consists of 5 rows, with the event date described in the first, followed by three associated games, followed by an empty line. This example would be described as follows using the Splendid City user interface.

Once satisfied with the record format, user may proceed with importing schedule CSV data by clicking the "Import CSV Schedule" pushbutton. A date parameter must be described either in the Game Format string or Record Format line in order to proceed. If a parsing error is encountered with the imported file, detailed information (line number + information the program could not parse) is provided to help users modify the CSV files in order to proceed .

Date and Time Patterns

Date and time formats are specified by date and time pattern strings. Within date and time pattern strings, unquoted letters from 'A' to 'Z' and from 'a' to 'z' are interpreted as pattern letters representing the components of a date or time string. Text can be quoted using single quotes (') to avoid interpretation. "''" represents a single quote. All other characters are not interpreted; they're simply copied into the output string during formatting or matched against the input string during parsing.

The following pattern letters are defined (all other characters from 'A' to 'Z' and from 'a' to 'z' are reserved):

Letter Date or Time Component Presentation Examples
G Era designator Text AD
y Year Year 1996; 96
M Month in year Month July; Jul; 07
w Week in year Number 27
W Week in month Number 2
D Day in year Number 189
d Day in month Number 10
F Day of week in month Number 2
E Day in week Text Tuesday; Tue
a Am/pm marker Text PM
H Hour in day (0-23) Number 0
k Hour in day (1-24) Number 24
K Hour in am/pm (0-11) Number 0
h Hour in am/pm (1-12) Number 12
m Minute in hour Number 30
s Second in minute Number 55
S Millisecond Number 978
z Time zone General time zone Pacific Standard Time; PST; GMT-08:00
Z Time zone RFC 822 time zone -0800
Pattern letters are usually repeated, as their number determines the exact presentation:
  • Text: For formatting, if the number of pattern letters is 4 or more, the full form is used; otherwise a short or abbreviated form is used if available. For parsing, both forms are accepted, independent of the number of pattern letters.
  • Number: For formatting, the number of pattern letters is the minimum number of digits, and shorter numbers are zero-padded to this amount. For parsing, the number of pattern letters is ignored unless it's needed to separate two adjacent fields.
  • Year: For formatting, if the number of pattern letters is 2, the year is truncated to 2 digits; otherwise it is interpreted as a number.

    For parsing, if the number of pattern letters is more than 2, the year is interpreted literally, regardless of the number of digits. So using the pattern "MM/dd/yyyy", "01/11/12" parses to Jan 11, 12 A.D.

    For parsing with the abbreviated year pattern ("y" or "yy"), SCS must interpret the abbreviated year relative to some century. It does this by adjusting dates to be within 80 years before and 20 years after the time the SimpleDateFormat instance is created. For example, using a pattern of "MM/dd/yy" and a SCS instance created on Jan 1, 1997, the string "01/11/12" would be interpreted as Jan 11, 2012 while the string "05/04/64" would be interpreted as May 4, 1964. During parsing, only strings consisting of exactly two digits, will be parsed into the default century. Any other numeric string, such as a one digit string, a three or more digit string, or a two digit string that isn't all digits (for example, "-1"), is interpreted literally. So "01/02/3" or "01/02/003" are parsed, using the same pattern, as Jan 2, 3 AD. Likewise, "01/02/-3" is parsed as Jan 2, 4 BC.

  • Month: If the number of pattern letters is 3 or more, the month is interpreted as text; otherwise, it is interpreted as a number.
  • General time zone: Time zones are interpreted as text if they have names. For time zones representing a GMT offset value, the following syntax is used:
                 GMT Sign Hours : Minutes
         Sign: one of
                 + -
                 Digit Digit
                 Digit Digit
         Digit: one of
                 0 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9
    Hours must be between 0 and 23, and Minutes must be between 00 and 59. The format is locale independent and digits must be taken from the Basic Latin block of the Unicode standard.
  • RFC 822 time zone: For formatting, the RFC 822 4-digit time zone format is used:
                 Sign TwoDigitHours Minutes
                 Digit Digit
    TwoDigitHours must be between 00 and 23. Other definitions are as for general time zones.

    For parsing, general time zones are also accepted.

SCS also supports localized date and time pattern strings. In these strings, the pattern letters described above may be replaced with other, locale dependent, pattern letters. SCS does not deal with the localization of text other than the pattern letters; that's up to the client of the class.


The following examples show how date and time patterns are interpreted in the U.S. locale. The given date and time are 2001-07-04 12:08:56 local time in the U.S. Pacific Time time zone.
Date and Time Pattern Result
"yyyy.MM.dd G 'at' HH:mm:ss z" 2001.07.04 AD at 12:08:56 PDT
"EEE, MMM d, ''yy" Wed, Jul 4, '01
"h:mm a" 12:08 PM
"hh 'o''clock' a, zzzz" 12 o'clock PM, Pacific Daylight Time
"K:mm a, z" 0:08 PM, PDT
"yyyyy.MMMMM.dd GGG hh:mm aaa" 02001.July.04 AD 12:08 PM
"EEE, d MMM yyyy HH:mm:ss Z" Wed, 4 Jul 2001 12:08:56 -0700
"yyMMddHHmmssZ" 010704120856-0700

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