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when to use characters or bytes

 
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Can someone please help me understand this. I have read about this very much but I just need a practical understanding of it.
From my understanding the java io can be broken into two main types:
1. classes that operate in bytes.
2. classes that operate in characters.
I can never decdide when to use one or the other. Can someone please provide me with a rule of thumb.
Thank you
david
 
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Short answer: if you're dealing with text, use Writers and Reader (use chars). If you're dealing with binary data (image data, etc.) use Streams (bytes.)
 
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