A file contains text data and binary data ... Is it a text file or a binary file?

Roger L Costello costello at mitre.org
Mon Sep 14 14:46:07 CDT 2020

Hi Folks,

A file contains a long series of text data and at the end is binary data. The binary data is not encoded as base64 text or anything like that. It is raw, unfiltered, unencoded binary data.

Is it a text file or a binary file?

A colleague argues that it may be legitimately treated as a text file. After all, it can be opened in a text editor. The text editor might display odd-looking characters such as this:

ÿª¼ T

But that is harmless.

Is there a practical, real-world problem with treating it as a text file?


More information about the Unicode mailing list