Netspooky Xx Save

The xx file format. Turn your hex dumps into art, then into binary data.

Project README

xx

xx is a simple text based file format for creating binary files and data buffers.

Who Is This For?

The xx format was designed for those who need to describe, annotate, or simply write binary data in a text file, and turn it into binary data.

This can usually be done with either an assembler, or a tool that can parse hex dumps and transform them into a binary file. The main limitation of these tools is that you need to follow the semantics of either the assembler or the hex dump format in order to build your file the way you want. Alternatively you can script out something to create a buffer for you, but this also relies on following the data representation rules for that scripting language.

With xx, there is a lot more freedom for how you can to write your data. The aim is to be an extensible, reliable format for portable binary data descriptions.

Usage

Type hex bytes into a text file, then run:

$ python3 xx.py file.xx

This will create a file called file.sha256[6].bin.

You can use the -x flag to do a simple hex dump to verify the contents of your buffer.

There are several example files in this repo for you to play with if you need some inspiration.

You can use yxd to create an xx compatible hex dump to work with.

Data Representation

The primary format for data is ASCII hex bytes. These can be represented in a number of common hex formats.

$ cat formats.xx
0x41, 0x41, 0x41, 0x41 -- Hex list
$42, $42, $42, $42     -- 8 Bit
43434343               -- Long hex string
44 44 4444             -- Spaced out bytes (any size) 
\x45\x45\x45\x45       -- C-style
46h 46h 46h 46h        -- asm style
47:47:47:47            -- MAC Address style
"This is a string"     -- Plain old string, must use double quotes!
0y01010101             -- Binary numbers, put "0y" at the start, followed by 8 bits, then a space or new line after.

Output:

$ python3 xx.py formats.xx -x
00000000: 41 41 41 41 42 42 42 42 43 43 43 43 44 44 44 44  AAAABBBBCCCCDDDD
00000010: 45 45 45 45 46 46 46 46 47 47 47 47 54 68 69 73  EEEEFFFFGGGGThis
00000020: 20 69 73 20 61 20 73 74 72 69 6E 67               is a string

Comments

Comments are a major component of .xx files. You can use a number of standard comment delimiters to take notes about bytes.

Current list of comments:

-- Lua Style
/* C multi-
line Style */
// C++ Style
# Python Style
; Nasm Style
% MATLAB, PDF 
| Pipes
┌─┬┐╔═╦╗╓╥  Any box drawing 
╖╒╤╕│║├┼┤╠  character can also
╬╣╟╫╢╞╪╡└┴  be used as a comment.
┘╚╩╝╙╨╜╘╧╛  Perfect for diagrams!
▀▁▂▃▄▅▆▇█▉▊▋▌▍▎▏ Any block element 
▐░▒▓▔▕▖▗▘▙▚▛▜▝▞▟ can also be used

Roadmap

Version 0.2 of xx is the simple version that I've personally been using and testing, but I wanted more people to play with it before adding all the bells and whistles.

  • Other number formats, WinDbg style: 0n11 = decimal 11, 0y11 = decimal 3.
  • ANSI formatting for data
  • Command and Macro interface
  • An official file format specification

Eventually I will combine this with the yxd project: https://github.com/netspooky/yxd

If you have any suggestions or ideas, feel free to submit an issue or a PR, or message me on twitter: @netspooky

Updates

  • Version 0.3 adds ANSI formatting and multiline comments.
  • Version 0.4 adds all the unicode Box Drawing Character and Block Elements as comments and an updated codebase that is easier to work with.
  • Version 0.4.1 fixes some issues with characters inside of ASCII strings
  • Version 0.5 adds binary numbers.
Open Source Agenda is not affiliated with "Netspooky Xx" Project. README Source: netspooky/xx
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