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utterly new and trying to do difficult things with files

P: 1

I'm new to python, as in I read the first 5 chapters of 'dive into python' new.

I'm trying to use the levenshtein algorithm to do some edit distance comparisions. However rather than comparing strings I want to compare files (oo-er). My idea is to get the binary or hexadecimal output of a file (perhaps using xxd) and then save that to a variable. Then use the algorithm to 'compare' how similar the files are.

I've worked out how to open a file using open(filename,"r"), this however returns the ascii value of data in the file which isn't much use to me.

My query is twofold. Firstly do you think I am crazy and doing things completely inefficiently?
Secondly how can I retreive the binary / hex stream of a binary file in python?

Many thanks

Jul 13 '06 #1
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