dirfile-format man page

dirfile-format — the dirfile database format specification file

Description

The dirfile format specification fully specifies the raw and derived time streams and auxiliary information for a dirfile(5) database.

The format specification is contained in one or more case-sensitive text files located in the dirfile tree. Each file is known as a fragment. The primary fragment is the file called format located in the base dirfile directory. This file may contain only part of the format specification, and may reference other fragments (using the /INCLUDE directive) containing further format specification. This inclusion mechanism may be nested arbitrarily deep.

The explicit text encoding of these files is not specified by these Standards, but it must be 7-bit ASCII compatible. Examples of acceptable character encodings include all the ISO 8859 character sets (i.e. Latin-1 through Latin-10, among others), as well as the UTF-8 encoding of Unicode and UCS.

This document primarily describes the latest version of the Standards (Version 9); differences with previous versions are noted where relevant. A complete list of changes between versions is given in the History section below.

Syntax

The format specification is composed of field specification lines and directive lines, optionally separated by blank lines or lines containing only whitespace. Lines are separated by the line-feed character (0x0A). Unless escaped (see below), the hash mark (#) is the comment delimiter; the comment delimiter, and any text following it to the end of the line, is ignored.

Tokens

Both field specification lines and directive lines consist of several tokens separated by whitespace. Whitespace consists of one or more whitespace characters. These are: space (0x20), horizontal tab (0x09), vertical tab (0x0B), form-feed (0x0C), and carriage return (0x0D). The first token of a directive line is always a reserved word. The first token of a field specification line is never a reserved word. Any amount of whitespace may precede the first token on a line.

Since tokens are separated by whitespace, to include a whitespace character in a token, it must either escaped by preceding it by a backslash character (\), or be replaced by a character escape sequence (see below), or else the token must be enclosed in quotation marks ("). The quotation marks themselves are stripped from the token. The null-token (that is, the token consisting of zero characters) may be specified by a pair of quotation marks with nothing between them (""). To include a literal quotation mark in a token, it must be escaped (\"). Similarly, a hash mark may be included in a token by including it in a quoted token or else by escaping it (\#), otherwise the hash mark is understood as the comment delimiter.

It is a syntax error to have a line which contains unmatched quotation marks, or in which the last character is the backslash character.

Several characters when escaped by a preceding backslash character are interpreted as special characters in tokens. The character escape sequences are:

\a
an alert (bell) character (ASCII 0x07 / U+0007)
\b
a backspace character (ASCII 0x08 / U+0008)
\e
an escape character (ASCII 0x1B / U+001B)
\f
a form-feed character (ASCII 0x0C / U+000C)
\n
a line-feed character (ASCII 0x0A / U+000A)
\r
a carriage return character (ASCII 0x0D / U+000D)
\t
a horizontal tab character (ASCII 0x09 / U+0009)
\v
a vertical tab character (ASCII 0x0B / U+000B)
\\
a backslash character (ASCII 0x5C / U+005C)
\ooo
the single byte given by the octal number ooo (1 to 3 octal digits).
\xhh
the single byte given by the hexadecimal number hh (1 or 2 hexadecimal digits).
\uhhhhhhh
the UTF-8 byte sequence encoding the Unicode code point given by the hexadecimal number hhhhhhh (1 to 7 hexadecimal digits).

Any other character which is escaped is interpreted as the character itself. (i.e. \c is interpreted as c; also, as pointed out above, \" and \# are interpreted as simply " and #, without their special meanings).

No token may contain the NULL character (ASCII 0x00 / U+0000). Furthermore, although support is present to create UTF-8 byte sequences, tokens are not required to be valid UTF-8 sequences. Any byte sequence not containing the NULL character forms a valid token. However, there may be further restrictions on allowed characters for a token in a particular situation, (for example, when used as a field name).

Standards Version 5 and earlier do not recognise the character escape sequences, nor allow quoting of tokens. As a result, they prohibit both whitespace and the comment delimiter from being used in tokens.

Directives

There are ten directives, each specified by a different reserved word, which cannot be used as field names in the dirfile. As of Standards Version 8, all reserved words start with an initial forward slash (/), to distinguish them from field names. Standards Versions 5, 6, and 7 permitted the omission of the initial forward slash, while in Standards Version 4 and earlier, reserved words may not have an initial forward slash. Like the rest of the format specification, directives are case sensitive.

A number of the directives have fragment scope. A directive with fragment scope only applies to the fragment in which it is present, plus any sub-fragments indicated by the /INCLUDE directive, but only if those sub-fragments don't have their own corresponding directive. Directives which have fragment scope are: /ENCODING, /ENDIAN, /FRAMEOFFSET, and /PROTECT. Because of these scoping rules, different portions of the dirfile may have different encodings, endiannesses, frame offsets, or protection levels.

If a directive with fragment scope appears more than once in a fragment, only the last such directive is honoured, with the exception that the effect of a directive is not propagated to sub-fragments if the directive line appears after the sub-fragment is included. The scoping rules of the remaining directives are discussed below.

/ALIAS

The /ALIAS directive defines an alternate name for a field defined elsewhere in the format specification (called the "target"). Aliases may not be used as the parent field in a /META directive, but are in most other ways indistinguishable from the target's original, canonical name. Aliases may be chained (that is, the target name appearing in an /ALIAS directive may itself be an alias). In this case, the new alias is another name for the target's own target. Just as there is no requirement that the input fields of a derived field exist, it is not an error for the target of an alias to not exist. Syntax is:

/ALIAS <name> <target>

A metafield alias may defined using the <parent-field>/<alias-name> syntax for name in the /ALIAS directive. No restriction is placed on target; specifically, a metafield alias may target a top-level field, or a metafield of with a different parent; conversely, a top-level alias may target a metafield.

A metafield alias may never appear as the parent part of a metafield field code, even if it refers to a top-level field. That is, given the valid format:

field1 RAW UINT8 1
field1/meta CONST FLOAT64 0.0
field2 RAW UINT8 1
/ALIAS field2/alias field1

the metafield field1/meta may not be referred to as field2/alias/meta, even though field2/alias is a valid field code referring to field1.

The /ALIAS directive has no scope: it is processed immediately. It appeared in Standards Version 9.

/ENCODING

The /ENCODING directive specifies the encoding scheme used to encode binary files in the dirfile. The encoding scheme may be one of the predefined names listed below, which are described in more detail in dirfile-encoding(5), or any other site-specific encoding scheme. The predefined scheme names are:

none
The dirfile is unencoded.
bzip2
The dirfile is compressed using the bzip2 compression scheme.
gzip
The dirfile is compressed using the gzip compression scheme.
lzma
The dirfile is compressed using the LZMA compression scheme.
slim
The dirfile is compressed using the slim compression scheme.
sie
The dirfile is sample-index encoded (a variant of run-length encoding).
text
The dirfile is text encoded.
zzip
The dirfile is compressed and encapsulated using the zzip compression scheme.
zzslim
The dirfile is compressed and encapsulated using a combination of the zzip and slim compression schemes.

Implementations should fail gracefully when encountering an unknown encoding scheme. If no encoding scheme is specified, behaviour is implementation dependent. Syntax is:

/ENCODING <scheme> [<enc-datum>]

The enc-datum token provides additional data for certain encoding schemes; see dirfile-encoding(5) for details. The form of enc-datum is not specified.

The /ENCODING directive has fragment scope. It appeared in Standards Version 6. The predefined schemes sie, zzip, and zzslim, and the optional enc-datum token, appeared in Standards Version 9; the predefined scheme lzma appeared in Standards Version 7; all other predefined schemes appeared in Standards Version 6.

/ENDIAN

The /ENDIAN directive specifies the endianness of the raw data in the database. The assumed endianness of raw data in dirfiles which omit this directive is implementation dependent. Syntax is:

/ENDIAN ( big | little ) [ arm ]

where the "arm" token should be included if double precision floating point data are stored in the ARM middle-endian format. The /ENDIAN directive has fragment scope. It appeared in Standards Version 5. The optional arm token appeared in Standards Version 8.

/FRAMEOFFSET

The /FRAMEOFFSET directive specifies the frame number of the first frame for which data exists in binary files associated with RAW fields. Syntax is:

/FRAMEOFFSET <integer>

The /FRAMEOFFSET directive has fragment scope. It appeared in Standards Version 1.

/HIDDEN

The /HIDDEN directive indicates that the specified field name is hidden. The difference (if any) between a field name which is hidden and one that is not is implementation dependent. Hiddenness is not inherited by metafields of the specified field. Hiddenness applies to the name, not the field itself; it does not hide all aliases of the field-name, and if field-name an alias, the alias is hidden, not its target. Syntax is:

/HIDDEN <field-name>

A /HIDDEN directive must appear after the specification of field-name, (which occurs either in a field specification line, or an /ALIAS directive, or a /META directive) in the same fragment.

The /HIDDEN directive has no scope: it is processed immediately. It appeared in Standards Version 9.

/INCLUDE

The /INCLUDE directive specifies another file (called a fragment) to parse for additional format specification for the dirfile. The inclusion is processed immediately, before the fragment containing the /INCLUDE directive (the parent fragment) is parsed further. RAW fields specified in the included fragment are located in the directory containing the fragment file, and not in the directory containing the parent fragment, and the binary file encoding may be different for each fragment. The fragment may be specified either with an absolute path, or else a path relative to the directory containing the parent fragment.

The /INCLUDE directive may optionally specify a prefix and/or suffix to apply to field names defined in the included fragment. If present, affixes are applied to all field-names (including aliases) defined in the included fragment and any fragments it further includes. Affixes nest, with the affixes of the deepest inclusion innermost. Affixes are not applied to the names of binary files associated with RAW fields. Syntax is:

/INCLUDE <file> [<prefix> [<suffix>]]

To specify only a suffix, use the null-token ("") as prefix. The /INCLUDE directive has no scope: it is processed immediately. It appeared in Standards Version 3. The optional prefix and suffix appeared in Standards Version 9.

/META

The /META directive specifies a metafield attached to a particular parent field. The field metadata may be of any allowed type except RAW. Metafields are retrieved in exactly the same way as regular field data, but the field code specified consists of the parent and metafield names joined with a forward slash:

<parent-field>/<meta-field>

META fields may not be specified before their parent field has been. Syntax is:

/META <parent-field> {field specification line}

The <parent-field> code may not be an alias. As an illustration of this concept,

/META pfield meta CONST FLOAT64 3.291882

provides a scalar metadatum called meta with value 3.291882 attached to the field pfield. This particular metafield may be referred to by the field code "pfield/meta". Note that different parent fields may have metafields with the same name, since all references to metafields must include the parent field name. Metafields may not themselves have further sub-metafields.

As an alternative to the /META directive, starting with Standards Version 7, a metafield may be specified by a standard field specification line, using

<parent-field>/<meta-field>

as the field name. That is, the above example metafield could have also been specified as:

pfield/meta CONST FLOAT64 3.291882

The /META directive has no scope: it is processed immediately. It appeared in Standards Version 6.

/PROTECT

The /PROTECT directive specifies the advisory protection level of the current fragment and of the RAW fields defined therein. The protection level indicates whether writing to the fragment, or the binary data on disk is permitted. Syntax is:

/PROTECT <level>

Four advisory protection levels are defined:

none
No protection at all: data and metadata may be freely changed. This is the default, if no /PROTECT directive is present.
format
The dirfile metadata is protected from change, but RAW data on disk may be modified.
data
The RAW data on disk is protected from change, but metadata may be modified.
all
Both metadata and data on disk are protected from change.

The /PROTECT directive has fragment scope. It appeared in Standards Version 6.

/REFERENCE

The /REFERENCE directive specifies the name of the field to use as the dirfile's reference field (see dirfile(5)). If no /REFERENCE directive is specified, the first RAW field encountered is used as the reference field. The /REFERENCE directive must specify a RAW field. Syntax is:

/REFERENCE <field-code>

The /REFERENCE directive has global scope: if multiple /REFERENCE directives appear in the dirfile metadata, only the last such is honoured. It appeared in Standards Version 6.

/VERSION

The /VERSION directive specifies the particular version of the Dirfile Standards to which the dirfile format specification conforms. This directive should occur before any version dependent syntax is encountered. As of Standards Version 6, no such syntax exists, and this directive is provided primarily to ease forward compatibility. Syntax is:

/VERSION <integer>

The /VERSION directive has immediate scope: its effect is immediate, and it applies only to metadata below it, including and propagating downwards to sub-fragments after the directive.

In Standards Version 8 and earlier, its effect also propagates upwards back to the parent fragment, and affects subsequent metadata. Starting with Standards Version 9, this no longer happens. As a result, a /VERSION directive which indicates a version of 9 or later never propagates upwards; additionally, /VERSION directives found in subfragments included in a Version 9 or later fragment aren't propagated upwards into that fragment, regardless of the Version of the subfragments. The /VERSION directive appeared in Standards Version 5.

Field Specification Lines

Any line which does not start with a reserved word is assumed to be a field specification line. A field specification line consists of at least two tokens. The first token is the field name. The second token is the field type. Subsequent tokens are field parameters. The meaning and number these parameters depends on the field type specified.

Field Names

The first token in a field specification line is the field name. The field name consists of one or more characters, excluding both ASCII control characters (the bytes 0x01 through 0x1F), and the characters

& / ; < > | .

which are reserved (but see below for the use of / to specify metafields). The full stop (.) is allowed in Standards Version 5 and earlier. The ampersand, semicolon, less than, greater than, and vertical line (& ; < > |) are allowed in Standards Version 4 and earlier. Furthermore, due to the lack of an escape or quoting mechanism (see Tokens above), Standards Version 5 and earlier also prohibit whitespace and the comment delimiter (#) in field names.

The field name may not be INDEX, which is a special, implicit field which contains the integer frame index. Standards Version 5 and earlier also prohibit FILEFRAM, which was an alias for INDEX. Field names are case sensitive. Standards Version 3 and 4 restrict field names to 50 characters. Standards Version 2 and earlier restrict field names to 16 characters. Additionally, the filesystem may put restrictions on the length and acceptable characters of a RAW field name, regardless of Standards Version.

Starting in Standards Version 7, if the field name beginning a field specification line contains exactly one / character, the line is assumed to specify a metafield. See the /META directive above for further details. A field name may not contain more than one /.

Field Types

There are fifteen field types. Of these, twelve are of vector type (BIT, DIVIDE, LINCOM, LINTERP, MPLEX, MULTIPLY, PHASE, POLYNOM, RAW, RECIP, SBIT, and WINDOW) and three are of scalar type (CONST, CARRAY, and STRING). The eleven vector field types other than RAW fields are also called derived fields, since they derive their value from one or more input fields.

Five of these derived fields (DIVIDE, LINCOM, MPLEX, MULTIPLY, and WINDOW) may have more than one input field. In situations where these input fields have differing sample rates, the sample rate of the derived field is the same as the sample rate of the first (left-most) input field specified. Furthermore, the input fields are synchronised by aligning them on frame boundaries, assuming equally-spaced sampling throughout a frame, and using the last sample of each input field which did not occur after the sample of the derived field being computed. That is, if the first and second input fields have sample rates s1 and s2, the derived field also has sample rate s1 and, for every sample of the derived field, n, the n'th sample of the first field is used (since they have the same sample rate by definition), and the sample number used of the second field, m, is computed as:

m = floor((n * s2) / s1).

Starting in Standards Version 6, certain scalar field parameters in the field specifications may be specified using CONST or CARRAY fields, instead of literal values. A list of parameters for which this is allowed is given below in the Field Parameters section.

The possible fields types are:

BIT

The BIT vector field type extracts one or more bits out of an input vector field as an unsigned number. Syntax is:

<fieldname> BIT <input> <first-bit> [<num-bits>]

which specifies fieldname to be the value of bits first-bit through first-bit+num-bits-1 of the input vector field input, when input is converted from its native type to an (endianness corrected) unsigned 64-bit integer. If num-bits is omitted, it is assumed to be 1. The SBIT field type is a signed version of this field type. The optional num-bits parameter appeared in Standards Version 1.

CARRAY

The CARRAY scalar field type is a list of constants fully specified in the format specification metadata. Syntax is:

<fieldname> CARRAY <type> <value0> <value1> <value2> ...

where type may be any supported native data type (see the description of the RAW field type below), and value0, value1, &c. are the values of successive elements in the scalar list interpreted as indicated by type. No limit is placed on the number of elements in a CARRAY. (Note: despite being multivalued, this is not considered a vector field since the elements of the CARRAY are not indexed by frames.) It appeared in Standards Version 8.

CONST

The CONST scalar field type is a constant fully specified in the format specification metadata. Syntax is:

<fieldname> CONST <type> <value>

where type may be any supported native data type (see the description of the RAW field type below), and value is the numerical value of the constant interpreted as indicated by type. It appeared in Standards Version 6.

DIVIDE

The DIVIDE vector field type is the quotient of two vector fields. Syntax is:

<fieldname> DIVIDE <field1> <field1>

The derived field is computed as:

fieldname = field1 / field2.

It was introduced in Standards Version 8.

LINCOM

The LINCOM vector field type is the linear combination of one, two or three input vector fields. Syntax is:

<fieldname> LINCOM [<n>] <field1> <a1> <b1> [<field2> <a2> <b2> [<field3> <a3> <b3>]]

where n, if present, indicates the number of input vector fields (1, 2, or 3). The derived field is computed as:

fieldname = (a1 * field1 + b1) + (a2 * field2 + b2) + (a3 * field3 + b3)

with the field2 and field3 terms included only if specified.

If n is not specified, the number of fields is determined by looking at the supplied parameters. Since it is possible to create a field code which is identical to a literal number, the third token on the line is assumed to be n if it the entire token can be parsed as a literal number using the rules outlined in strtod(3). That is, if the field code specifying field1 could be mistaken for a literal number, n must be specified to prevent ambiguity. In standards Version 6 and earlier, n is mandatory.

LINTERP

The LINTERP vector field type specifies a table look up based on another vector field. Syntax is:

<fieldname> LINTERP <input> <table>

where input is the input vector field for the table lookup, and table is the path to the lookup table file for the field. If this path is relative, it is assumed to be relative to the directory containing the fragment defining this field. The lookup table file is an ASCII text file with two whitespace separated columns of x and y values. Values are linearly interpolated between the points specified in the lookup table.

MPLEX

The MPLEX vector field type permits the multiplexing of several low sample rate fields into a single data field of higher sample rate. Syntax is:

<fieldname> MPLEX <input> <index> <count> [<period>]

where input is the input vector containing the multiplexed fields, index is the vector containing the mutliplex index, count is the value of the multiplex index when the computed field is stored in input, and period, if present and non-zero, is the number of samples between successive occurrances of the value count in the index vector. A period of zero (or, equivalently, it's omission) indicates that either the value count is not equally spaced in the index vector, or else that the spacing is unknown. Both count and period are integers, and period may not be negative.

At every sample n, the derived field is computed as:

fieldname[n] = (index == count) ? input[n] : fieldname[n - 1]

The index vector is converted to an integer type for comparison. The value of the derived field before the first sample where index equals count is implementation dependent.

The values of count and period place no restrictions on values contained in index. Specifically, particular values of index (including count) need not be equally spaced (neither by period nor any other spacing); index need not ever take on the value count (in which case the value of the entirety of the derived field is implementation dependent). Different MPLEX field definitions which use the same index vector may specify different periods. MPLEX appeared in Standards Version 9.

MULTIPLY

The MULTIPLY vector field type is the product of two vector fields. Syntax is:

<fieldname> MULTIPLY <field1> <field2>

The derived field is computed as:

fieldname = field1 * field2.

It appeared in Standards Version 2.

PHASE

The PHASE vector field type shifts an input vector field by the specified number of samples. Syntax is:

<fieldname> PHASE <input> <shift>

which specifies fieldname to be the input vector field, input, shifted by shift samples. A positive shift indicates a forward shift, towards the end-of-field. Results of shifting past the beginning- or end-of-field is implementation dependent. PHASE appeared in Standards Version 4.

POLYNOM

The POLYNOM vector field type specifies a polynomial function of a single input vector field. Syntax is:

<field_name> POLYNOM <input> <a0> <a1> [<a2> [<a3> [<a4> [<a5>]]]]

where <input> is the input field code, and the order of the computed polynomial is determined by how many co-efficients are present in the specification. The derived field is computed as:

fieldname = a0 + a1 * input + a2 * input**2 + a3 * input**3 + a4 * input**4 + a5 * input**5

where ** is the element-wise exponentiation operator, and the higher order terms are computed only if the corresponding co-efficients ai are specified. POLYNOM appeared in Standards Version 7.

RAW

The RAW vector field type specifies raw time streams on disk. In this case, the field name should correspond to the name of the file containing the time stream. Syntax is:

<fieldname> RAW <type> <sample-rate>

where sample-rate is the number of samples per dirfile frame for the time stream and type is a token specifying the native data format type:

UINT8
unsigned 8-bit integer
INT8
signed (two's complement) 8-bit integer
UINT16
unsigned 16-bit integer
INT16
signed (two's complement) 16-bit integer
UINT32
unsigned 32-bit integer
INT32
signed (two's complement) 32-bit integer
UINT64
unsigned 64-bit integer
INT64
signed (two's complement) 64-bit integer
FLOAT32
IEEE-754 standard 32-bit single precision floating point number
FLOAT64
IEEE-754 standard 64-bit double precision floating point number
COMPLEX64
a 64-bit complex number consisting of two IEEE-754 standard 32-bit single precision floating point numbers representing the real and imaginary parts of the complex number (Standards Version 7 and later)
COMPLEX128

a 128-bit complex number consisting of two IEEE-754 standard 64-bit double precision floating point numbers representing the real and imaginary parts of the complex number (Standards Version 7 and later).

For more information on the storage of complex valued data, see dirfile(5). Two additional type names exist: FLOAT is equivalent to FLOAT32, and DOUBLE is equivalent to FLOAT64. Standards Version 9 deprecates these two aliases, but still allows them.

All these type names (except those for complex data, which came later) were introduced in Standards Version 5. Earlier Standards Versions specified data types with single-character type aliases:

c
UINT8
u
UINT16
s
INT16
U
UINT32
i, S
INT32
f
FLOAT32
d
FLOAT64

Types INT8, UINT64, INT64, COMPLEX64, and COMPLEX128 are not supported before Standards Version 5, so no single-character type aliases exist for these types. These single-character type aliases were deprecated in Standards Version 5 and removed in Standards Version 8.

RECIP

The RECIP vector field type computes the reciprocal of a single input vector field. Syntax is:

<field_name> RECIP <input> <dividend>

where <input> is the input field code and <dividend> is a scalar quantity. The derived field is computed as:

fieldname = dividend / input.

RECIP appeared in Standards Version 8.

SBIT

The SBIT vector field type extracts one or more bits out of an input vector field as a signed number. Syntax is:

<fieldname> SBIT <input> <first-bit> [<bits>]

which specifies fieldname to be the value of bits first-bit through first-bit+bits-1 of the input vector field input, when input is converted from its native type to a (endianness corrected) signed 64-bit integer. If bits is omitted, it is assumed to be 1. The BIT field type is an unsigned version of this field type. SBIT appeared in Standards Version 7.

STRING

The STRING scalar field type is a character string fully specified in the format file metadata. Syntax is:

<fieldname> STRING <value>

where value is the string value of the field. Note that value is a single token. To include whitespace in the string, enclose value in quotation marks ("), or else escape the whitespace with the backslash character (\). STRING appeared in Standards Version 6.

WINDOW

The WINDOW vector field type isolates a portion of an input vector based on a comparison. Syntax is:

<fieldname> WINDOW <input> <check> <op> <threshold>

where input is the vector containing the data to extract, check is the vector on which to test the comparison, threshold is the value against which check is compared, and op is one of the following tokens indicating the particular comparison performed:

EQ
data are extracted where check, converted to a 64-bit signed integer, equals threshold,
GE
data are extracted where check, converted to a 64-bit floating-point number, is greater than or equal to threshold,
GT
data are extracted where check, converted to a 64-bit floating-point number, is strictly greater than threshold,
LE
data are extracted where check, converted to a 64-bit floating-point number, is less than or equal to threshold,
LT
data are extracted where check, converted to a 64-bit floating-point number, is strictly less than threshold,
NE
data are extracted where check, converted to a 64-bit signed integer, is not equal to threshold,
SET
data are extracted where at least one bit set in threshold is also set in check, when converted to a 64-bit unsigned integer,
CLR
data are extracted where at least one bit set in threshold is not set in check, when converted to a 64-bit unsigned integer,

The storage type of threshold depends on the operator, and follows the interpretation of check. It may never be complex valued.

Outside the region extracted, the value of the derived field is implementation dependent.

Note: with the EQ operator, this derived field type is very similar to the MPLEX field type above. The primary difference is that MPLEX mandates the value of the derived field outside the extracted region, while WINDOW does not. WINDOW appeared in Standards Version 9.

Field Parameters

All input vector field parameters should be field codes (see below). Additionally, the scalar field parameters listed may be either literal numbers or else the field code of a CONST field containing the value, or the field code of a CARRAY followed by a left angle bracket (<), then an non-negative integer used as the CARRAY element index, then a right angle bracket (>), that is:

fieldcode<n>

If the angle brackets and element index are omitted from a CARRAY field code used as a parameter, the first element in the field (index zero) is assumed.

Field parameters which may be specified using a scalar field code are:

BIT, SBIT
bitnum, numbits
LINCOM
any of the mi, or bi
MPLEX
count, max
PHASE
shift
POLYNOM
any of the ai
RAW
spf
RECIP
dividend
WINDOW
threshold

Since it is possible to create a field code which is identical to a literal number, a parameter is assumed to be the field code of a scalar field only if the entire token cannot be parsed as a literal number using the rules outlined in strtod(3). For example, a CONST field whose field code consists solely of digits can never be used as a parameter in a field specification line.

Starting in Standards Version 7, literal complex number is specified as two real (floating point) numbers separated by a semicolon (;) with no intervening whitespace. So, for example, the tokens

1;0 0;1 4;0 0;5 9.313e2;74.1

represent, respectively, the real unit, the imaginary unit, the real number four, the imaginary number 5i, and the complex number 931.3 + 74.1i. Because the semicolon character cannot be used in field names, a complex valued literal can never be mistaken for a field code. This allows, among other things, the composition of complex valued fields from purely real input fields. For example, a complex valued field, z, may be created from a real valued field re, representing the real part of the complex number, and the real valued field im, representing the imaginary part of the complex number, with the following LINCOM specification:

z LINCOM re 1 0 im 0;1 0

Starting in Standards Version 9, in additional to decimal notation, literal integer parameters may be specified as hexadecimal numbers, by prefixing the number (after an optional '+' or '-' sign) with 0x or 0X, or as octal numbers, by prefixing the number with 0, as described in strtol(3). Similarly, floating point literal numbers (both purely real ones and components of complex literals) may be specified in hexadecimal by prefixing them with 0x or 0X, and using p or P as the binary exponent prefix, as described in the C99 standard. Both uppercase and lowercase hexadecimal digits may be used. In cases where a literal floating point number may apear, the tokens INF or INFINITY, optionally preceded by a '+' or '-' sign, and NAN, optionally immediately followed by '(', then a sequence of characters, then ')', and all disregarding case, will be interpreted as the special floating point values explained in strtod(3).

Field Codes

When specifying the input to a field, either as a scalar parameter, or as an input vector field to a non-RAW vector field, field codes are used. A field code is one of:

·
a simple field name, possibly an alias, indicating a vector or scalar field
·
a parent field name, followed by a forward slash, followed by a metafield name, indicating a metafield. See the description of the /META directive above for further details.
·
either of the above, followed by a period, followed by a representation suffix, but only if the field or metafield specified is not a STRING type field.

A representation suffix may be used used to extract a real number from a complex value. The available suffixes and their meanings are:

.a
This representation indicates the angle (in radians) between the positive real axis and the value (ie. the complex argument). The argument is in the range [-pi, pi], and a branch cut exists along the negative real axis. At the branch cut, -pi is returned if the imaginary part is -0, and pi is returned if the imaginary part is +0. If z=0, zero is returned.
.i
This representation indicates the projection of the value onto the imaginary axis (ie. the imaginary part of the number).
.m
This representation indicates the modulus of the value (ie. its absolute value).
.r
This representation indicates the projection of the value onto the real axis (ie. the real part of the number).

If the specified field is purely real, the representations are calculated as if the imaginary part was equal to +0. For example, given a complex valued vector, z, a vector containing the real part of z, re_z, could be produced with:

re_z PHASE z.r 0

and similarly for the complex field's imaginary part, argument, and absolute value. (Although it should be pointed out this simplistic an example isn't strictly necessary, since z.r could be used wherever re_z would be.)

History

This document describes Versions 9 and earlier of the Dirfile Standards.

Version 9 of the Standards (April 2012) added the MPLEX and WINDOW field types, the /ALIAS and /HIDDEN directives, the affixes to /INCLUDE, the sie, zzip, and zzslim encoding schemes, along with the optional enc_datum token to /ENCODING. It permitted specification of integer literals in octal and hexadecimal. Finally, it deprecated the type aliases FLOAT and DOUBLE.

Version 8 of the Standards (November 2010) added the DIVIDE, RECIP, and CARRAY field types, made the forward slash on reserved words mandatory, and prohibited using the single-character type aliases in the specification of RAW fields. It also introduced the optional second (arm) token to the /ENDIAN directive.

Version 7 of the Standards (October 2009) added the SBIT and POLYNOM field types, and the directive-less method of specifying metafields. It also introduced the data types COMPLEX128 and COMPLEX64, along with the notion of representations, and the lzma encoding scheme. Finally, it made the number of fields parameter for LINCOM optional.

Version 6 of the Standards (October 2008) added the /ENCODING, /META, /PROTECT, and /REFERENCE directives, and the CONST and STRING field types. It permitted whitespace in tokens and introduced the character escape sequences. It allowed CONST fields to be used as parameters in field specification lines. It also removed FILEFRAM as an alias for INDEX, and prohibited . but allowed # and \ in field names.

Version 5 of the Standards (August 2008) added VERSION and ENDIAN, slash demarcation of reserved words, and removed the restriction on field name length. It introduced the data types INT8, INT64, and UINT64, the new-style type specifiers, and increased the range of the BIT field type from 32 to 64 bits. It also prohibited the characters &;<>\| in field names.

Version 4 of the Standards (October 2006) added the PHASE field type.

Version 3 of the Standards (January 2006) added INCLUDE and increased the allowed length of a field name from 16 to 50 characters.

Version 2 of the Standards (September 2005) added the MULTIPLY field type.

Version 1 of the Standards (November 2004) added FRAMEOFFSET and the optional fourth argument to the BIT field type.

Version 0 of the Standards (before March 2003) refers to the dirfile standards supported by the getdata(3) library originally introduced into the kst(1) sources, which contained support for all other features covered by this document.

Authors

The dirfile specification was developed by C. B. Netterfield <netterfield@astro.utoronto.ca>.

Since Standards Version 3, the dirfile specification has been maintained by D. V. Wiebe <getdata@ketiltrout.net>.

See Also

dirfile(5), dirfile-encoding(5)

Referenced By

checkdirfile(1), dirfile(5), dirfile-encoding(5), gd_add(3), gd_add_alias(3), gd_add_bit(3), gd_add_spec(3), gd_alter_affixes(3), gd_alter_bit(3), gd_alter_encoding(3), gd_alter_endianness(3), gd_alter_entry(3), gd_alter_frameoffset(3), gd_alter_protection(3), gd_alter_spec(3), gd_cbopen(3), gd_encoding(3), gd_endianness(3), gd_entry(3), gd_fragment_affixes(3), gd_frameoffset(3), gd_getdata(3), gd_include_affix(3), gd_linterp_tablename(3), gd_madd_bit(3), gd_move(3), gd_mplex_lookback(3), gd_nframes(3), gd_protection(3), gd_raw_filename(3), gd_reference(3), gd_rename(3), gd_strtok(3), gd_uninclude(3).

3 April 2013 Standards Version 9 DATA FORMATS