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Re: [xml-dev] Is the binary file format dead?

On Wed, Oct 30, 2013 at 11:08 AM, Michael Kay <mike@saxonica.com> wrote:

These are not distinct categories, they are layers: text files are streams of characters encoded as streams of bytes.

Indeed.  But by convention we normally restrict "binary" to files which are not interpretable as streams of characters.
It has to be said that for data interchange, text-based formats have proven advantages. But even there, there are cases where optimization to save space can be justified: hence EXI.

The same is true for server-side storage: the day Google has only a few terabytes of free space, they will be in a critical disk crunch.  Consequently, it is common to store internal objects in the binary Protocol Buffers format, which is an ASN.1 BER style format, but with many improvements. 

GMail doesn't have rotating .sigs, but you can see mine at http://www.ccil.org/~cowan/signatures

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