- If you replace text editor with “some viewer” you should be fine. There are many other formats that are built on top of HDF5 (e.g. CGNS, NetCDF, Matlab’s standard .mat files,…), each bringing their own specific viewers, but each of these formats can be opened, read and debugged in hdfview, Python, Julia, …
- Ok, this wont be possible for HDF5, since the feature set is so extensive. This is due to HDF5 not being a format but an IO library, with lots of file system specific tuning.
I don’t have a particular gripe with HDF5, I am just concerned that if something breaks (which happens very commonly with software), I am not in a position to fix it.
I think HDF5 will be the lingua franca for scientific data for a long time. Even is predecessor HDF4 is still actively supported after 20 years on the market. The ecosystem and compatibility coming with HDF5 is so widespread that you should actually have good reasons to NOT use it, see Wikipedia. (yes I know I may sound like a salesman)
BTW: If you’re really forced to use plain text you could try HDF5-JSON, however without the advantage of ubiquitous reader support.