In a May 2011 team post, Aaron suggested: Add "spaces" to the delimiter options for the "load from file" routine. Right now it supports commas and tabs. The DOS/Fortran "ts" supports spaces so many people have data in that format. The old AAVSO data download tool exported that way too. So I think supporting "one or more consecutive spaces" as a delimiter would be very useful.
To which I replied: That turns out to be easier said than done, except if the file consists of JD and mag values. For example, it's not possible to parse a file of space separated rows in AAVSO download format without ambiguity, because some fields, like comments, have an unknown number of spaces. Comma-separated is also problematic in that regard for AAVSO download format, tab-separated less so. Adding quotes around fields when they are generated would help with that.
I actually started out with the intention of permitting space-separated files in VStar early on. The spec initially called for CSV and TSV simple file format and AAVSO download file format. Of course we've also recently added upload format as a plug-in to handle VPHOT output etc.
Correct me if I'm wrong, but I think TS manages to handle space-separated files because it only reads JD and mag values (e.g. see loadraw subroutine in ts12.f). Presumably only JD and mag matter since the period analysis functionality only uses these (e.g. not also error/uncertainty values).
However, I am keen to make importing of files as easy as possible, so if we are willing to live with some constraints, I'd be very happy to take this further. We can also do this via Observation Source plug-ins, but that is probably not be the right approach here.
See also "Loading Observation Data From a File" in VStar Help for more./