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RE: Images embedded in XML

<- Hmmm, it'd be nice if XML was more compact, faster to parse, and let you
<- embed other data streams more easily - do we *have* to make it
<- human-readable UTF-8?

It wouldn't be extensible or markup - I suppose you could just call it 'L'

 Surely a binary format would be much
<- better if there
<- were good tools easily available to hand-edit it?

There's nothing stopping anyone using binary formats, there are thousands in
use. Hand editing along with visual representation is one thing, machine
generation and reading another. All are done with binary formats in lots of
systems, but to be able to use these completely across the board you need to
go to a pretty low common denominator such (e.g. plain text). Either you do
without compatibility between systems or you sacrifice a bit of speed. There
are compromises though - you could have a reference in your markup to a
binary file (e.g. a .jpg) and the processor could receive this separately
from the markup, as in HTML browsers.