David Reed on Ascii vs. Binary: … as far as data is concerned, the number “10” takes a wasteful 16 bits to store, but the binary version takes an efficient 4 bytes.
As an end-user of XML, I’ve been following, from afar, the discussion of XML’s “bloatedness”. There is no question that the representation of data in XML is bloated — it uses more space than absolutly necessary. But, XML has a lot of flexibility and a minimal learning curve. It is simple to encode data in XML by hand, if necessary.
One solution to the bload is compression. Since it is so bloated, it compresses well. I would imagine that it compresses better than raw binary data, though I have no proof of that.
Related: AKMA relates this joke: There are 10 types of people in the world: those who understand binary and those who don’t.