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Base32 encoding/decoding

What is base32 encoding?

Base32 encoding is a 32-character encoding method used to convert binary data into printable characters for transmission and storage in a text environment. The principle of Base32 encoding is to divide binary data into groups of 5 bits, and encode each divided group to obtain 1 visible character. This encoding mechanism is mainly used to encode binary data into visible strings. Its encoding rules are similar to Base64, but it uses a different character set. The total number of characters in the Base32 encoding table is 2^5=32, which is the origin of the name Base32. In terms of application scenarios, Base32 encoding is widely used in URL parameter transfer, data storage, and checksum calculation. For example, after binary data is converted to Base32 encoding, it can be passed as a parameter to the URL to avoid the impact of special characters on the URL; in some cases where some databases or file systems may not support storing binary data, Base32 encoding can be used to convert binary data into text form for storage; in addition, Base32 encoding can also be used to calculate the checksum of the data to verify the integrity of the data. Although Base32 takes up about 20% more space than Base64, it has many advantages, such as being suitable for case-insensitive file systems, being more conducive to human spoken communication or memory, and the result can be used as a file name (because it does not contain symbols such as the path separator "/"), and eliminates visually confusing characters, so it can be entered accurately manually. The result of excluding the filler symbol "=" can be included in the URL without encoding any characters.

What are the characteristics of base32 encoding?

  1. Printability: All characters generated by Base32 encoding are printable characters and are suitable for use in a text environment.
  2. Fault tolerance: Base32 encoding can tolerate some errors or changes in input data, such as changes in upper and lower case letters, spaces, or other special characters.
  3. Applicability: Base32 encoding is often used in scenarios where binary data needs to be converted into text form, such as parameter passing in URLs, attachments in emails, etc.