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CRAP5 - 5-bit Compact Representation of Alphabetical Patterns

CRAP5 is a 5 bit character encoding. The premise of CRAP5 is that the English alphabet, plus a couple more formatting characters, can be neatly put into just 5 bits, instead of 8.

This means that for every byte, CRAP5 will nibble* off three bits! As such, CRAP5 has an efficiency of 137.5%!

Character Set

The character set for CRAP5 is as follows:

Character Dec Hex Binary
Space 0 0x0 0b00000
A 1 0x1 0b00001
B 2 0x2 0b00010
C 3 0x3 0b00011
D 4 0x4 0b00100
E 5 0x5 0b00101
F 6 0x6 0b00110
G 7 0x7 0b00111
H 8 0x8 0b01000
I 9 0x9 0b01001
J 10 0xA 0b01010
K 11 0xB 0b01011
L 12 0xC 0b01100
M 13 0xD 0b01101
N 14 0xE 0b01110
O 15 0xF 0b01111
P 16 0x10 0b10000
Q 17 0x11 0b10001
R 18 0x12 0b10010
S 19 0x13 0b10011
T 20 0x14 0b10100
U 21 0x15 0b10101
V 22 0x16 0b10110
W 23 0x17 0b10111
X 24 0x18 0b11000
Y 25 0x19 0b11001
Z 26 0x1A 0b11010
. 27 0x1B 0b11011
, 28 0x1C 0b11100
! 29 0x1D 0b11101
? 30 0x1E 0b11110
Newline 31 0x1F 0b11111


usage: CRAP5 encoder/decoder [-h] [-d] [-i INFILE] [-o OUTFILE] [-u] [-x] [-b]

  -h, --help            show this help message and exit
  -d, --decode          Decode data
  -i INFILE, --infile INFILE
  -o OUTFILE, --outfile OUTFILE
  -u, --uppercase       Print decoded data as uppercase
  -x, --hex             Print encoded data as hex
  -b, --bin             Print encoded data as binary

Example Usage

Encode from STDIN (printed as hex, will be output as bytes by default)

$ echo 'Hello, world!' | crap5 -x

Encode from file

$ crap5 -i hello_world.txt

Decode from STDIN

$ echo 'Hello, world!' | crap5 | crap5 -d
hello, world!

Decode from file

$ echo 'Hello, world!' | crap5 > crap5.txt
$ crap5 -d -i crap5.txt
hello, world!

Usage as a dependency

Because crap5 was designed to operate on STDIN and bytes from files, you will need to either do the same or simulate a byte readable object - for example with BytesIO. Both the encode and decode function are generators, yielding bytes as they encode/decode.


>>> import io
>>> import crap5
>>> encoded = b''.join([x for x in crap5.encode(io.BytesIO(b'hello world'))])


>>> import io
>>> import crap5
>>> b''.join([x for x in crap5.decode(io.BytesIO(b'AX\xc7\x82\xef\x93\x08'))]).lower()
b'hello world'

FAQ - Frequently Asked Questions

  • Q: When should I use this?
    • A: Never. Please don't use CRAP5.


  • * Pun intended.