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CRLF

Write Bill a letter.

CRLF is a text file format converter. CRLF stands for carriage return line feed. The difficulty with transporting otherwise innocuous text files from one platform to another is precisely the manner in which the various platforms treat that CRLF sequence.

CRLF was originally a double signal sent to telex machines to get the paper carriage back to column 0 (carriage return) and scroll up one line - (line feed). This is unnecessary in the era of word processing.

The Unix platform adopted instinctively to this 'new world', interpreting 0Ah (the line feed character) as both the one and the other. However, other platforms adopted other approaches.

The (Wintel) PC still uses the double character sequence, and the Mac traditionally uses not the standard line feed character, but the carriage return character - 0Dh.

Even today, there is surprisingly little compatibility between platforms. Text editors on one platform will often be thrown for a loop when confronting text files created on another platform. Thus the need for a text file format converter - for CRLF.

CRLF was initially created for Win32 - the universal 32-bit Windows platform. Its OS X sibling includes several significant enhancements. Heretofore the conversion process was left entirely up to the user; this new OS X version actually analyses the incoming file first, so that there can be no mistaking what kind of file one is working with.

Your original file doesn't have to be overwritten: depending on the conversion you specify, your output file will gain an additional file name extension, either 'unix', 'dos', or 'mac'. Further conversions simply add to the previous extensions. You can thereafter inspect the results and rename your output files as you wish.

There's an added bonus too: CRLF automatically cleans all trailing white space prior to output, so if you simply want to clean your source code files, just drop them on CRLF and it's done.

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