software working with "plain text" documents (AKA "ASCII files").

"Plain Text Documents", often also referred to as ASCII files, contain no "binary" code, but are rather "text only". Traditionally, the character set was limited to "US 7-bit ASCII", but today the term also includes other character sets like Latin-1 or UTF8 (8-bit) and others.

Being "plain text" does not mean there's no formatting. Examples of plain-text documents e.g. include:

  • CSV: Comma Separated Values, in most cases representing a table of data
  • CSS: Cascaded Style Sheets describe the look and formatting of a document written in a Markup language
  • Markup: e.g. the formatting used here on Stack Exchange (called Markdown), but also including XML and HTML

and more.

A big pro of plain-text files is they can be easily "versioned", without being dependent on a specific Version Control system, and also easily compared using any of the many Diff utilities.

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