SUMMARY: binary editors

From: Donald McLachlan (
Date: Wed Feb 08 1995 - 14:58:09 CST

Here is a tablulation of the suggestions I got:

emac: 21 (Ref O'Reilly book)
beav: 4
adb: 4
nvi: 2 (new vi, 8 bit aware, and has built in man pages)
bvi: 1 (under construction by
bined: 1
sbd: 1
fe: 1 (source provided by
uzap: 1 (PD, exe provided by
vi -b: 1 (I've never seen this option, and my vi does not support it)
fm: 1
bed: 1 (converts file to octal/hex/ascii-like, invokes your favorite
           editor, and re-converts after. nice idea but would lead to huge
           file to edit me-thinks. Source provided by
xdf: 1

To avoid the learning curve I will try nvi first (I already know vi).
Failing that I will try beav which I was told was easy to use.
If there is still no joy I will have to bite the bullet and learn emacs.

Other useful info I was told:

1 - Change 1 byte at a time <-> Do not do a string replacement as this will
    change the length of the file and really bugger things up.

2 - Remember to append a null to the end of the new (shorter) pathname.

3 - One could use symbolic links from the old pathname to the new pathname

4 - adb/sdb have ugly user interfaces.

5 - emacs can take 3 hours to build and has a non-insignificant learning curve.

6 - emacs may change the mode of the file so make sure it is executable
    after editing.

Thanks everyone,

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