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    What would be the advantage over something like yaml? If I want to display a hierarchy in CSV I just add leading commas, so it can’t be to do that….

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      The advantage is to retain the convenience (simple to write, by hand, no big spec to look at) and the readability of CSV. As the author states:

      One of the trade-offs in this design is to favor a valid representation, even if ambiguous, over syntax errors. (If you prefer more explicit syntax, try a different hierarchical format such as YAML and JSON.)

      This makes sense as a super simple hierarchical data format in the context of interactive exploration and visualization.