Text file A file that contains characters Binary file A file that contains data in a specific format, requiring a special interpretation of its bits 11.1 File Systems 351 A file is a generic concept. Different types of files are managed in different ways. A file, in general, contains a program (in some form) or data (of one type or another). Some files have a very rigid format; others are more flexible. A file is a sequence of bits, bytes, lines, or records, depending on how you look at it. Like any data in memory, you have to apply an interpreta-tion to the bits stored in a file before they have meaning. The creator of a file decides how the data in a file is organized, and any users of the file must understand that organization. Text and Binary Files Broadly, all files can be classified as either a text file or a binary file. In a text file the bytes of data are organized as characters from the ASCII or Unicode character sets. (Character sets are described in Chapter 3.) A binary file
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