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Textual transmission typically faster?


I just read p.19 of Brett McLaughin's book, Java and XML (O'Reilly), 
and was a little surprised by the statement:

"Although some binary data formats can be transmitted very efficiently, 
textual transmissions will typically average out as a faster means of 

Could anyone expand on this statement for me, and perhaps supply 
references to any papers/benchmarks that show some results?

I have read Several articles discussing XML/HTTP as a distributed 
computing protocol and these often list the pros/cons of XML/HTTP 
versus CORBA/RMI (or raw socket) based communications (or discuss how 
these can be combined with XML). 

An often quoted disadvantage of XML/HTTP is that it will be less 
efficient than a binary protocol. It seems intuitive that compressed 
formats would exhibit better network performance than textual 
transmission. But perhaps this depends on the size of the chunks of 
data to be transferred and the processing necessary to encode/decode 
the data?


Dr Mark Papiani
Email: mark.papiani@ubsw.com

Visit our website at http://www.ubswarburg.com

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