[Haskell-cafe] Writing binary files?

Fergus Henderson fjh007 at galois.com
Tue Sep 14 17:00:12 EDT 2004

On 13-Sep-2004, Glynn Clements <glynn.clements at virgin.net> wrote:
> However, If you treat them as ISO-8859-* (it doesn't matter which one,
> so long as you're consistent), the Haskell I/O functions will at least
> pass them through unmodified. Consider a trivial "cp" program:
> 	main = do
> 		[src, dst] <- getArgs
> 		text <- readFile src
> 		writeFile dst text
> If the assumed encoding is ISO-8859-*, this program will work
> regardless of the filenames which it is passed or the contents of the
> file (modulo the EOL translation on Windows).

And also modulo the control-Z issue on Windows, and the EOL issue
on old Macs.

But "this program will work (modulo <important issue>)"
is just another way of saying "this program won't work".
The program above may be a reasonably way of copying text files,
but it does not work for copying binary files.

Fergus J. Henderson                 |  "I have always known that the pursuit
Galois Connections, Inc.            |  of excellence is a lethal habit"
Phone: +1 503 626 6616              |     -- the last words of T. S. Garp.

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