Whoever at Microsoft decided that a comma was a worthy choice as a delimiter for importing text files should be taken out and beaten and then shot. What was the thought process? “Hmmmm….. we need something to separate values in a text file, what’s a good choice? A pipe(|)? Nah, too common. A tilde(~)? Nah, still too common. I’ve got it! A comma. Nobody ever uses those!”
Microsoft has made a lot of stupid mistakes over the years, but this has to be the dumbest. As a result of this decision any comma used in the value of a field denotes the beginning of a new field, which often it’s not. (For example, my name commonly gets written as Paul J. Smith, Jr. If my name is stored as a single field in a comma delimited file that comma after “Smith” tells the computer a new field is started, so every field after that is off by one from its proper position, completely invalidating the file.)
One time at a previous assignment, we were developing a process to transfer data between two systems, which necessitated using a text file. The lead tech from the other system asked if we could use a pipe (|) as the delimiter in the file. My response was just “Thank you.” Pipes never appear in contemporary usage and make such a perfect delimiter. Microsoft needs to dump commas as separators and move to pipes, or just abandon the whole flat file thought process and move to XML as a go-between when a text file is required.