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Re: "Binary XML" proposals

On Wed, 11 Apr 2001, Rick Jelliffe wrote:

> :*It's a myth that binary formats are somehow harder to read than
> :text-based formats.*
> I have no doubt that anyone who has ever programmed in machine code (or even
> assembler languages without symbolic addresses) would heartil disagree.
> Where is Grace Hopper when we need her?

That's not the same issue. When you write an assembly language program,
you use a tool to convert to machine code. If you don't strip the symbols
you can even convert it back, fairly losslessly (just lose the comments
and whitespacing).

Given that there are freely and widely available tools to do the
conversions in both ways, a compiled machine code file (for your
architecture, so you'll have the *right* tools installed anyway as a
developer) is only harder to work with than a text file because you have
to disassemble it first (unless you have a debugger handy, in which case
the debugger will usually let you explore the binary file and handle cross
referencing for you, which a text viewer WON'T do!)

> Rick Jelliffe


                               Alaric B. Snell
 http://www.alaric-snell.com/  http://RFC.net/  http://www.warhead.org.uk/
   Any sufficiently advanced technology can be emulated in software