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Unix vs. Windows File Format

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  • bgold12
    How can I change the format of a text file that I m editing in vim? I recently saved the source code of a web page and opened it in vim, and it said at the
    Message 1 of 14 , Oct 18, 2008
      How can I change the format of a text file that I'm editing in vim?

      I recently saved the source code of a web page and opened it in vim,
      and it said at the bottom [unix], which I assume means vim decided for
      some reason that this is a "Unix" file (or should be viewed as a Unix
      file), however every line ends with the CR symbol, ^M, so this is
      obviously a "Windows" file.

      I know I can do a simple substitution of all ^M's with nothing to get
      rid of them (assuming there are no other ^M's in the file that I
      wouldn't want to get rid of), but I'd also like to know if I can
      change that setting (the vim file format display) myself. Also, why
      wasn't vim able to recognize that the file was separated by CR/NL
      instead of just NL?
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    • Tony Mechelynck
      ... Reading the file with dos fileformat (set forcibly as above, not detected via the fileformats heuristics) will accept either CR+LF or LF only as an
      Message 2 of 14 , Oct 18, 2008
        On 19/10/08 00:44, bgold12 wrote:
        > How can I change the format of a text file that I'm editing in vim?
        >
        > I recently saved the source code of a web page and opened it in vim,
        > and it said at the bottom [unix], which I assume means vim decided for
        > some reason that this is a "Unix" file (or should be viewed as a Unix
        > file), however every line ends with the CR symbol, ^M, so this is
        > obviously a "Windows" file.
        >
        > I know I can do a simple substitution of all ^M's with nothing to get
        > rid of them (assuming there are no other ^M's in the file that I
        > wouldn't want to get rid of), but I'd also like to know if I can
        > change that setting (the vim file format display) myself. Also, why
        > wasn't vim able to recognize that the file was separated by CR/NL
        > instead of just NL?

        :set ffs=
        :e ++ff=dos filename
        :w
        :enew
        :set ffs=dos,unix

        Reading the file with "dos" fileformat (set forcibly as above, not
        "detected" via the 'fileformats' heuristics) will accept either CR+LF or
        LF only as an end-of-line (there must be at least one, probably the
        last, where the CR is missing). Writing it (in "dos" fileformat) will
        write CR+LF at the end of every line including the last.

        I suspect your file lacked a proper end-of-line on its last line; the
        above will "repair" it.


        Best regards,
        Tony.
        --
        Get GUMMed
        --- ------
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        chroots in pipes, chown with forks, use the wc (unless uuclean), fseek
        nice zombie processes, strip, and sleep, but not, we hope, od. Three
        days will be devoted to discussion of the ramifications of whodo. Two
        seconds have been allotted for a complete rundown of all the user-
        friendly features of Unix. Seminars include "Everything You Know is
        Wrong", led by Tom Kempson, "Batman or Cat:man?" led by Richie Dennis
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        could tell them.
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      • fritzophrenic
        ... As for what causes it, Vim is perfectly capable of detecting DOS/ Windows-style line endings, but only if _every_ line in the file has them. If even 1 line
        Message 3 of 14 , Oct 20, 2008
          On Oct 18, 5:44 pm, bgold12 <bgol...@...> wrote:
          > How can I change the format of a text file that I'm editing in vim?
          >
          > I recently saved the source code of a web page and opened it in vim,
          > and it said at the bottom [unix], which I assume means vim decided for
          > some reason that this is a "Unix" file (or should be viewed as a Unix
          > file), however every line ends with the CR symbol, ^M, so this is
          > obviously a "Windows" file.
          >
          > I know I can do a simple substitution of all ^M's with nothing to get
          > rid of them (assuming there are no other ^M's in the file that I
          > wouldn't want to get rid of), but I'd also like to know if I can
          > change that setting (the vim file format display) myself. Also, why
          > wasn't vim able to recognize that the file was separated by CR/NL
          > instead of just NL?

          I always fix it this way, while the file is open:

          :%s/\r//
          :set ff=dos
          :w

          As for what causes it, Vim is perfectly capable of detecting DOS/
          Windows-style line endings, but only if _every_ line in the file has
          them. If even 1 line does not have the proper line ending, the file is
          treated as Unix so that you can see all the contents of the file.

          Many editors in Windows have been designed so that when pasting lines
          from a file with one style of line ending into a file with another
          style, no conversions will be made. This is probably the most frequent
          source I've seen for the problem. Someone will copy some lines from a
          Unix-style file into a Windows file, and not realize what happened
          because their editor cannot differentiate between the two line
          endings. Visual Studio I think just does this blindly. Ultraedit has a
          setting (disabled by default!) that will automatically convert the
          line endings. Other editors may or may not do things more
          intelligently depending on their settings.

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        • Ben Schmidt
          ... Another common reason for this that applies to webpages (the source of which the OP said he was editing) is that they are written with DOS format line
          Message 4 of 14 , Oct 20, 2008
            > Many editors in Windows have been designed so that when pasting lines
            > from a file with one style of line ending into a file with another
            > style, no conversions will be made.

            Another common reason for this that applies to webpages (the source of
            which the OP said he was editing) is that they are written with DOS
            format line endings, and/or source template files with DOS endings, but
            in dynamically generated content, just use "\n" in their code and
            thereby omit a bunch of Unix line endings, too.

            Ben.




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          • Tony Mechelynck
            ... This will delete carriage -returns anywhere in the file, but only the first one if there are several on a line. You may prefer ... to remove only
            Message 5 of 14 , Oct 20, 2008
              On 20/10/08 16:22, fritzophrenic wrote:
              >
              >
              > On Oct 18, 5:44 pm, bgold12<bgol...@...> wrote:
              >> How can I change the format of a text file that I'm editing in vim?
              >>
              >> I recently saved the source code of a web page and opened it in vim,
              >> and it said at the bottom [unix], which I assume means vim decided for
              >> some reason that this is a "Unix" file (or should be viewed as a Unix
              >> file), however every line ends with the CR symbol, ^M, so this is
              >> obviously a "Windows" file.
              >>
              >> I know I can do a simple substitution of all ^M's with nothing to get
              >> rid of them (assuming there are no other ^M's in the file that I
              >> wouldn't want to get rid of), but I'd also like to know if I can
              >> change that setting (the vim file format display) myself. Also, why
              >> wasn't vim able to recognize that the file was separated by CR/NL
              >> instead of just NL?
              >
              > I always fix it this way, while the file is open:
              >
              > :%s/\r//

              This will delete carriage -returns anywhere in the file, but only the
              first one if there are several on a line. You may prefer

              :%s/\r$//

              to remove only carriage-returns at end-of-line. (Some programs such as
              rsync use carriage-returns without line-feed on sysout to erase the
              current line without going to the next line; these "naked CRs" are
              visible when redirecting the program's output to a logfile.)

              > :set ff=dos
              > :w
              >
              > As for what causes it, Vim is perfectly capable of detecting DOS/
              > Windows-style line endings, but only if _every_ line in the file has
              > them. If even 1 line does not have the proper line ending, the file is
              > treated as Unix so that you can see all the contents of the file.
              [...]

              You may also force-read with one specific type of line endings, but it
              will only work if 'fileformats' (plural) is empty: see ":help ++opt".
              The "dos" fileformat will then treat _either_ CR+LF or LF alone as and
              end-of-line when reading, and will write CR+LF when writing.

              For instance

              command -bang -bar -nargs=? -complete=file EditAsDos
              \ call EditAsDos(<q-args>,<q-bang>)
              function EditAsDos(file,bang)
              let save_ffs = &ffs
              set ffs=
              exe "edit" . a:bang "++ff=dos" a:file
              let &ffs = save_ffs
              endfunction


              Best regards,
              Tony.
              --
              It will be generally found that those who sneer habitually at human
              nature and affect to despise it, are among its worst and least pleasant
              examples.
              -- Charles Dickens

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            • Ben Schmidt
              ... Upon what do you base the statement that it will only work if ffs is empty, Tony? I can t find any reference to such a restriction, nor have I experienced
              Message 6 of 14 , Oct 21, 2008
                > You may also force-read with one specific type of line endings, but it
                > will only work if 'fileformats' (plural) is empty: see ":help ++opt".

                Upon what do you base the statement that it will only work if ffs is
                empty, Tony? I can't find any reference to such a restriction, nor have
                I experienced problems without emptying it, and a quick test shows that
                if I have ffs=unix then doing ++ff=dos does work as I expect it to for
                reading DOS files.

                Cheers,

                Ben.




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              • Matt Wozniski
                ... Tony s right; try it with a broken DOS-format file - line 1 ends r n, line 2 n. echo -n a r nb n tmp/testfile However, I also can t find any reference
                Message 7 of 14 , Oct 21, 2008
                  On Tue, Oct 21, 2008 at 8:52 AM, Ben Schmidt wrote:
                  >
                  >> You may also force-read with one specific type of line endings, but it
                  >> will only work if 'fileformats' (plural) is empty: see ":help ++opt".
                  >
                  > Upon what do you base the statement that it will only work if ffs is
                  > empty, Tony? I can't find any reference to such a restriction, nor have
                  > I experienced problems without emptying it, and a quick test shows that
                  > if I have ffs=unix then doing ++ff=dos does work as I expect it to for
                  > reading DOS files.

                  Tony's right; try it with a broken DOS-format file - line 1 ends \r\n,
                  line 2 \n.
                  echo -n "a\r\nb\n" >tmp/testfile

                  However, I also can't find any reference to this behavior in the help,
                  and it definitely strikes me as a bug - I can't see why you'd ever
                  want autodetection to override a manual decision from the user. One
                  more question for Bram when he gets back, I guess.

                  ~Matt

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                • Tony Mechelynck
                  ... Upon past experience. I have noticed that ++enc works regardless of fileencodings but that ++ff does not always work if fileformats is nonempty. I
                  Message 8 of 14 , Oct 21, 2008
                    On 21/10/08 14:52, Ben Schmidt wrote:
                    >> You may also force-read with one specific type of line endings, but it
                    >> will only work if 'fileformats' (plural) is empty: see ":help ++opt".
                    >
                    > Upon what do you base the statement that it will only work if ffs is
                    > empty, Tony? I can't find any reference to such a restriction, nor have
                    > I experienced problems without emptying it, and a quick test shows that
                    > if I have ffs=unix then doing ++ff=dos does work as I expect it to for
                    > reading DOS files.
                    >
                    > Cheers,
                    >
                    > Ben.

                    Upon past experience.

                    I have noticed that ++enc works regardless of 'fileencodings' but that
                    ++ff does not always work if 'fileformats' is nonempty. I haven't
                    investigated all possible combinations, but I believe that the current
                    'ffs' value (my usual setting is "unix,dos") and whether running on
                    Linux or Windows "might" make a difference.

                    Also, I'm talking of "broken" DOS files, i.e., files with a mixture of
                    CR+LF and LF-only line endings. These are normally detected as "Unix"
                    fileformat, and I have noticed that ++ff=dos is not always enough to set
                    'fileformat' (singular) to "dos" on these files (and auto-discard
                    CR-before-LF when reading in) if 'fileformats' (plural) includes "unix".


                    Best regards,
                    Tony.
                    --
                    hundred-and-one symptoms of being an internet addict:
                    216. Your pet rock leaves home.

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                  • Tony Mechelynck
                    ... I think it _is_ documented but I don t remember where (help about that behaviour is scattered about several help files). Maybe starting at the ... Best
                    Message 9 of 14 , Oct 21, 2008
                      On 21/10/08 21:15, Matt Wozniski wrote:
                      > On Tue, Oct 21, 2008 at 8:52 AM, Ben Schmidt wrote:
                      >>> You may also force-read with one specific type of line endings, but it
                      >>> will only work if 'fileformats' (plural) is empty: see ":help ++opt".
                      >> Upon what do you base the statement that it will only work if ffs is
                      >> empty, Tony? I can't find any reference to such a restriction, nor have
                      >> I experienced problems without emptying it, and a quick test shows that
                      >> if I have ffs=unix then doing ++ff=dos does work as I expect it to for
                      >> reading DOS files.
                      >
                      > Tony's right; try it with a broken DOS-format file - line 1 ends \r\n,
                      > line 2 \n.
                      > echo -n "a\r\nb\n">tmp/testfile
                      >
                      > However, I also can't find any reference to this behavior in the help,
                      > and it definitely strikes me as a bug - I can't see why you'd ever
                      > want autodetection to override a manual decision from the user. One
                      > more question for Bram when he gets back, I guess.
                      >
                      > ~Matt

                      I think it _is_ documented but I don't remember where (help about that
                      behaviour is scattered about several help files). Maybe starting at the
                      following help tags, then following hotlinks, might help track it down:

                      :help 'fileformat'
                      :help 'fileformats'
                      :help ++opt

                      Best regards,
                      Tony.
                      --
                      "Every time I think I know where it's at, they move it."

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                    • John Beckett
                      ... Bram announced that he was having a non-networked holiday and will return later. John --~--~---------~--~----~------------~-------~--~----~ You received
                      Message 10 of 14 , Oct 22, 2008
                        Ben Schmidt wrote:
                        > If you could send me a reply when you see this, Bram, that'd
                        > be good, just so I know it's in the pipeline.

                        Bram announced that he was having a non-networked holiday and will return later.

                        John


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                      • Ben Schmidt
                        ... Yeah, that s why I m keen to get a confirmation from him when he does see it; it could easily get lost in a big backlog! But I don t like nagging people
                        Message 11 of 14 , Oct 22, 2008
                          John Beckett wrote:
                          > Ben Schmidt wrote:
                          >> If you could send me a reply when you see this, Bram, that'd
                          >> be good, just so I know it's in the pipeline.
                          >
                          > Bram announced that he was having a non-networked holiday and will return later.

                          Yeah, that's why I'm keen to get a confirmation from him when he does
                          see it; it could easily get lost in a big backlog! But I don't like
                          nagging people about things they *have* seen.

                          Smiles,

                          Ben.




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                        • Ben Schmidt
                          The bug has been fixed in a recentish Vim patch--you can now explicitly enable ff=dos when opening a file, and Vim will obey you. ... I believe in this case
                          Message 12 of 14 , May 26, 2009
                            The bug has been fixed in a recentish Vim patch--you can now explicitly enable
                            ff=dos when opening a file, and Vim will obey you.

                            :e ++ff=dos

                            I believe in this case Vim will treat CRLF and LF as line breaks, i.e. it will
                            silently convert single LF into CRLF. Single CR will show up as ^M in the buffer.

                            As long as unix is in your 'ffs' option, though, Vim will autodetect filetype and
                            will turn to Unix line endings if it finds a missing CR.

                            For more details on fileformat detection, and on specifying it explicitly when
                            opening a file, etc., see

                            :help 'ff'
                            :help 'ffs'
                            :help ++opt
                            :help file-formats

                            Remember, though, that this thread was about a bug Vim had where it would
                            sometimes ignore the ++ff=dos option. It has now been fixed, but only if you have
                            a Vim complied with that patch in it will you have the benefit of the fix. I don't
                            have time now to look up when it was fixed; someone else may be able to.

                            Ben.



                            shad@... wrote:
                            > Hi,
                            >
                            > are there any news on that? I'm quite interested in that topic, since
                            > it nags me for severals years now. Unfortunately I had never time to
                            > analyze the problem or search the mailing lists. I had the same
                            > experience as Tony: If you have a file with mixed CR and CRLF, you
                            > can't enable ff=dos. Always an UNIX linebreak is assumed, though
                            > ff=dos is set. That way it is hard to find out, where the incorrect
                            > line breaks came in. I would prefer to see a linebreak for every CRLF
                            > (dos) and a ^J for every single CR.
                            >
                            > Regards, Thomas
                            >
                            > On Oct 23 2008, 12:16 am, Ben Schmidt <mail_ben_schm...@...>
                            > wrote:
                            >> John Beckett wrote:
                            >>> Ben Schmidt wrote:
                            >>>> If you could send me a reply when you see this, Bram, that'd
                            >>>> be good, just so I know it's in the pipeline.
                            >>> Bram announced that he was having a non-networked holiday and will return later.
                            >> Yeah, that's why I'm keen to get a confirmation from him when he does
                            >> see it; it could easily get lost in a big backlog! But I don't like
                            >> nagging people about things they *have* seen.
                            >>
                            >> Smiles,
                            >>
                            >> Ben.
                            >

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                          • shad
                            I played around with this a little and it seems like it really depends. First I had no problems, but then I created the following file: 0000000: 310a 320a 330d
                            Message 13 of 14 , May 29, 2009
                              I played around with this a little and it seems like it
                              really depends. First I had no problems, but then I created
                              the following file:

                              0000000: 310a 320a 330d 0a34 0a 1.2.3..4.

                              It's a simple Unix file with one incorrect CRLF instead of
                              just LF. It is displayed the following way (using an empty
                              ffs):

                              ff=unix
                              1
                              2
                              3^M
                              4

                              ff=mac
                              1^J2^J3
                              ^J4^J

                              ff=dos
                              1
                              2
                              3
                              4

                              IMHO the dos variant should rather look like
                              1^J2^J3
                              4^J

                              It's even stated in the manual:
                              "In DOS format (default for MS-DOS, OS/2 and Win32), <CR><NL> and <NL>
                              are both
                              interpreted as the <EOL>."
                              "If 'fileformat' is "dos", a <CR> in front of an <NL> is
                              ignored and a CTRL-Z at the end of the file is ignored."

                              ...but is that the wished/expected behavior? I'm often
                              working with XML files, where the line breaks are mixed
                              (e.g. within CDATA LF and between tags CRLF). Usually I am
                              not allowed to edit the XML, so I have to find out, where
                              the error occurred.

                              Thomas

                              Ben Schmidt wrote:
                              > The bug has been fixed in a recentish Vim patch--you can now explicitly enable
                              > ff=dos when opening a file, and Vim will obey you.
                              >
                              > :e ++ff=dos
                              >
                              > I believe in this case Vim will treat CRLF and LF as line breaks, i.e. it will
                              > silently convert single LF into CRLF. Single CR will show up as ^M in the buffer.
                              >
                              > As long as unix is in your 'ffs' option, though, Vim will autodetect filetype and
                              > will turn to Unix line endings if it finds a missing CR.
                              >
                              > For more details on fileformat detection, and on specifying it explicitly when
                              > opening a file, etc., see
                              >
                              > :help 'ff'
                              > :help 'ffs'
                              > :help ++opt
                              > :help file-formats
                              >
                              > Remember, though, that this thread was about a bug Vim had where it would
                              > sometimes ignore the ++ff=dos option. It has now been fixed, but only if you have
                              > a Vim complied with that patch in it will you have the benefit of the fix. I don't
                              > have time now to look up when it was fixed; someone else may be able to.
                              >
                              > Ben.
                              >
                              >
                              >
                              > shad@... wrote:
                              > > Hi,
                              > >
                              > > are there any news on that? I'm quite interested in that topic, since
                              > > it nags me for severals years now. Unfortunately I had never time to
                              > > analyze the problem or search the mailing lists. I had the same
                              > > experience as Tony: If you have a file with mixed CR and CRLF, you
                              > > can't enable ff=dos. Always an UNIX linebreak is assumed, though
                              > > ff=dos is set. That way it is hard to find out, where the incorrect
                              > > line breaks came in. I would prefer to see a linebreak for every CRLF
                              > > (dos) and a ^J for every single CR.
                              > >
                              > > Regards, Thomas
                              > >
                              > > On Oct 23 2008, 12:16 am, Ben Schmidt <mail_ben_schm...@...>
                              > > wrote:
                              > >> John Beckett wrote:
                              > >>> Ben Schmidt wrote:
                              > >>>> If you could send me a reply when you see this, Bram, that'd
                              > >>>> be good, just so I know it's in the pipeline.
                              > >>> Bram announced that he was having a non-networked holiday and will return later.
                              > >> Yeah, that's why I'm keen to get a confirmation from him when he does
                              > >> see it; it could easily get lost in a big backlog! But I don't like
                              > >> nagging people about things they *have* seen.
                              > >>
                              > >> Smiles,
                              > >>
                              > >> Ben.
                              > >
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                            • Tony Mechelynck
                              ... 7.2.040, see http://ftp.vim.org/pub/vim/patches/7.2/README Best regards, Tony. -- Whenever anyone says, theoretically , they really mean, not really . --
                              Message 14 of 14 , Jun 1, 2009
                                On 27/05/09 00:23, Ben Schmidt wrote:
                                >
                                > The bug has been fixed in a recentish Vim patch--you can now explicitly enable
                                > ff=dos when opening a file, and Vim will obey you.
                                >
                                > :e ++ff=dos
                                >
                                > I believe in this case Vim will treat CRLF and LF as line breaks, i.e. it will
                                > silently convert single LF into CRLF. Single CR will show up as ^M in the buffer.
                                >
                                > As long as unix is in your 'ffs' option, though, Vim will autodetect filetype and
                                > will turn to Unix line endings if it finds a missing CR.
                                >
                                > For more details on fileformat detection, and on specifying it explicitly when
                                > opening a file, etc., see
                                >
                                > :help 'ff'
                                > :help 'ffs'
                                > :help ++opt
                                > :help file-formats
                                >
                                > Remember, though, that this thread was about a bug Vim had where it would
                                > sometimes ignore the ++ff=dos option. It has now been fixed, but only if you have
                                > a Vim complied with that patch in it will you have the benefit of the fix. I don't
                                > have time now to look up when it was fixed; someone else may be able to.
                                >
                                > Ben.

                                7.2.040, see http://ftp.vim.org/pub/vim/patches/7.2/README


                                Best regards,
                                Tony.
                                --
                                Whenever anyone says, "theoretically", they really mean, "not really".
                                -- Dave Parnas

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