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Q: Compare archiving in data in text (CSV) vs HDF5 Files

A: Advantages and Disadvantages of archiving text and HDF5 data formats.

HDF5 is a data storage format that can store a variety of datatypes and is designed for flexible and efficient I/O and for high volume and complex data. HDF5 is a standard format, that is portable and self describing. HDF5 stores data in binary format native to a computing platform but portable across platforms. The binary format native to computers makes the format the more efficient for computers than text formats (e.g., .txt or .csv) that is meant for humans to read.

Text file formats use ASCII data that is portable across different types of computing platforms but use more space to store numeric or boolean data.  In addition, computers require significant processing to convert their natural numeric and binary data into unnatural ASCII data formats. For high-performance or real-time systems this extra processing may be unavailable to too costly.

More on HDF5 can be found at



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