On Sep 8, 2008, at 8:33 PM, Tanaka Akira wrote:

> If you need to work with bytes, IO#getbyte can be used.
>
> "b" is not required.

But we also quite often want to work the the whole file. I believe  
Matz uses the example of something like

data = File.open("dave.gif", "b:ASCII-8BIT").read
fail unless data =~ /^GIF/

Binary doesn't always mean bytes--it just means that you don't have a  
consistent encoding throughout the file. So I'd strongly support the  
idea of "b" defaulting to a binary encoding.


Dave