> I think the UNIX emphasis on plain text, while it had its value in its original historical context of trying to get something working quickly, it holds us back to keep it like it was some kind of unquestionable religious dogma.
It seems logical to say that a standard binary format is just as good as a standard text format, which is why this is carefully documented as one bullet point in the Unix philosophy: use text. The extra overhead was a lot worse back when this idea was developed, yet they stuck with it anyway. If you don't meditate on "Why" then you will invent a non-text system that's "as good or better" than text and suffer as a result. You can either accept received wisdom and "just do it," ignore this sage advice at your own peril or embrace the idea wholeheartedly.