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QuestionWhat's the difference between Binary and Text file? Pin
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AnswerRe: What's the difference between Binary and Text file? Pin
Guffa20-Jan-06 13:01
Guffa20-Jan-06 13:01 
GeneralRe: What's the difference between Binary and Text file? Pin
Heath Stewart20-Jan-06 15:18
protectorHeath Stewart20-Jan-06 15:18 
Another obscure difference is how some daemons transfer files. Take FTP, for example. When you transfer files using ASCII mode line-termination characters are converted from the host (server) platform to the client platform automatically. This isn't transcoding (coverting encodings) but changing the way line-terminate and new-line characters are handled on the target platform. In BINARY mode the file is downloaded as-is.

Another thing typically of text files is a byte order mark, or BOM. ANSI files (ASCII characters are the first 127 bits) are 1 byte characters and multi-byte files derive from ANSI and may be up to 4 bytes. This is similar to UTF-8 which is a multi-byte standard. Unicode is either 2 byte or 4 byte characters (UCS-16 and UCS-32). Crazy, huh? How do you tell the difference?

Enter BOMs. ANSI files won't have them (no standard is defined anyway), but UTF-7, UTF-8, and Unicode files will have BOMs to help application like web browsers identify the encoding so the characters can be displayed correctly. Browsers and other application may also employ heuristics to guess the encoding if not explicitly mentioned (in browsers the encoding is described in HTTP headers or META tags in the content).

Binary files are what they are - a stream of bits that you interpret as the bits themselves - no encoding, no new-line or line-termination characters, no BOM...just as-is data.

This posting is provided "AS IS" with no warranties, and confers no rights.

Software Design Engineer
Developer Division Customer Product-lifecycle Experience
Microsoft

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-- modified at 21:18 Friday 20th January, 2006
GeneralRe: What's the difference between Binary and Text file? Pin
pmasknguyen21-Jan-06 6:29
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GeneralRe: What's the difference between Binary and Text file? Pin
Dave Kreskowiak21-Jan-06 8:46
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Questiondisplay a file to the browser using stream Pin
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AnswerRe: display a file to the browser using stream Pin
Heath Stewart20-Jan-06 12:12
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GeneralRe: display a file to the browser using stream Pin
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GeneralRe: display a file to the browser using stream Pin
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QuestionBindingNavigator's AddNew vs. AutoIncrement DB fields Pin
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GeneralRe: BindingNavigator's AddNew vs. AutoIncrement DB fields Pin
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GeneralRe: BindingNavigator's AddNew vs. AutoIncrement DB fields Pin
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QuestionHow do I create dynamic content (has to be easy!) Pin
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GeneralRe: How do I create dynamic content (has to be easy!) Pin
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QuestionHow to copy a picture??? Pin
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