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Binary file From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia binaries redirects here. For double stars, see Binary star. .bin redirects here. For The CD image format, see Disk image. A hex dump of the 318 byte Wikipedia favicon, or the * indicates repetition. . The first column numerates the line's starting address, while A binary file is a computer file which may contain any type of data, encoded in binary form for computer storage and processing purposes; for example, computer document files cont
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  Binary file From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia binaries redirects here. For double stars, see  Binary star .    .bin redirects here. For The CD image format, see  Disk image .    A hex dump of the 318 byte Wikipedia favicon,or . The first column numerates the line's starting address, while   the * indicates repetition. A binary file is a computer file which may contain any type of data, encoded in binary form for computer   storage and processing purposes; for example, computer document files containing formatted text.Many   binary file formats contain parts that can be interpreted as text; binary files that contain only  textual data — without, for example, any formatting information — are called plain text files. In many cases, plain text files are   considered to be different from binary files because binary files are made up of more than just plain text. Whendownloading, a completely functional program without any installer is also often called program binary, orbinaries (as opposed to the source code).   Contents [hide]    1 Structure 2 Manipulation 3 Viewing 4 Interpretation 5 Binary compatibility 6 See also   [edit] Structure   Unlike Text files,there is no special character present in the binary mode files to mark End-of-file.The binary mode files keep track of the end-of-file by checking the size of the file in the directory entry of the file. Binaryfiles are usually thought of as being a sequence of bytes,which means the binary digits(bits)are grouped in   eights. Binary files typically contain bytes that are intended to be interpreted as something other thantext characters. Compiled computer programs are typical examples; indeed, compiled applications(object files)    are sometimes referred to, particularly by programmers, as binaries . But binary files can also contain images,sounds, compressed versions of other files, etc. — in short, any type of file content whatsoever.Some binary files contain headers,blocks of metadata used by a computer program to interpret the data in the   file. For example, a GIF file can contain multiple images, and headers are used to identify and describe each block of image data. If a binary file does not contain any headers, it may be called a flat binary file . But thepresence of headers are also common in plain text files, like email and html files. [edit] Manipulation   To send binary files through certain systems (such as e-mail)that do not allow all data values, they are often   translated into a plain text representation (using, for example, Base64). Encoding the data has the   disadvantage of increasing the file size during the transfer (for example, using Base64 will increase the file'ssize by approximately 30%), as well as requiring translation back into binary after receipt. The increased sizemay be countered by lower-level link compression, as the resulting text data will have about as much lessentropy as it has increased size, so the actual data transferred in this scenario would likely be very close to thesize of the srcinal binary data. See Binary-to-text encoding for more on this subject.   Microsoft Windows and its standard libraries allow the programmer to specify a parameter indicating if a file isexpected to be plain text or binary when opening a file; this affects the standard library calls to read and writefrom the file in that the system converts between the line break character (the ASCII linefeed character) andthe line break sequence the operating system expects applications to use in files (the linefeed and carriagereturn characters in sequence). Unix also allows this, but there are no distinctions between text and binary files for the system to make, as Unix only uses a single line feed character to store a line break in files. This reflectsthe fact that the distinction between the two types of files is to a certain extent arbitrary.    [edit] Viewing   A hex editor or viewer may be used to view file data as a sequence of hexadecimal (or decimal, binary or ASCII character) values for corresponding bytes of a binary file.If a binary file is opened in a text editor,each group of eight bits will typically be translated as a single character, and you will see a (probably unintelligible) display of textual characters. If the file is opened in some  other application, that application will have its own use for each byte: maybe the application will treat each byteas a number and output a stream of numbers between 0 and 255 — or maybe interpret the numbers in thebytes as colors and display the corresponding picture. If the file is itself treated as an executable and run, then the operating system will attempt to interpret the file as a series of instructions in its machine language.    [edit] Interpretation   Standards are very important to binary files. For example, a binary file interpreted by the ASCII character setwill result in text being displayed. A custom application can interpret the file differently, a byte may be a sound,or a pixel, or even an entire word. Binary itself is meaningless, until such time as an executed algorithm defineswhat should be done with each bit, byte, word or block. Thus, just examining the binary and attempting tomatch it against known formats can lead to the wrong conclusion as to what it actually represents. This fact canbe used in steganography,where an algorithm interprets a binary data file differently to reveal hidden content.   Without the algorithm, it is impossible to tell that hidden content exists. [edit] Binary compatibility   Two files that are binary compatible will have the same pattern of zeros and ones in the data portion of the file.The file header, however, may be different.The term is used most commonly to state that data files produced by one application are exactly the same asdata files produced by another application. For example, some software companies produce applicationsfor Windows and the Macintosh that are binary compatible, which means that a file produced in a Windows environment is interchangeable with a file produced on a Macintosh. This avoids many of the conversionproblems caused by importing and exporting data. [edit] See also   Look up   binaries  inWiktionary, the freedictionary.    Executable     Disassembler  http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Binary_file 
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