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Appendix A Portable File Format

These days, most computers use the same internal data formats for integer and floating-point data, if one ignores little differences like big- versus little-endian byte ordering. However, occasionally it is necessary to exchange data between systems with incompatible data formats. This is what portable files are designed to do.

Please note: This information is gleaned from examination of ASCII-formatted portable files only, so some of it may be incorrect for portable files formatted in EBCDIC or other character sets.