For a Java application and for my personal understanding, I am exploring how to read and write shapefiles (at least shx, shp, dbf). The main purpose is to keep the resulting Shapefile-class and it's complimentary classes relatively lightweighted but with a backdoor to be able to react on changes of the different file formats as well.
The spatial information is well documented and clearly structured. This goes for the data table (dbf) to some extend as well. However, I am struggling with the different versions of dbf-files at the moment. I know that my version of QGIS Lisboa saves dbf-files as Xbase-files in a fashion which is described here. At the current stage, my Java classes are able to handle those. On the other hand I have read that different dBase-formats might be in use too. The respective file-specification is documented on e.g. this website.
Is the Xbase-format still dominant in comparison to the more complex but also more flexible dBase-formats?