Binary vs. String Protocols for Data Transmission

I was talking to a friend the other day about how data is transmitted, and it occurred to me that while we all know that binary protocols are faster-I didn’t really understand why that was the case. And for whatever reason, I found this incredibly hard to google.

There’s two main advantages to Binary

  1. Much more compact, so you can transmit it a lot faster.
  2. Faster to parse

Why is it then that we generally use String Protocols like HTTP? Well, it’s much easier to debug and understand human-readable text than it is to try and debug binary code.

Hope that helps someone else!

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