Item 50. Compress if Space Is a Problem

Verbosity is a common criticism of XML. However, in practice, most developers' intuitions about the verbosity of XML are wrong. XML documents are almost always smaller than the equivalent binary file format. The sad truth is that most modern software pays little to no attention to optimizing documents for space. However, if your XML documents are so big or your available space so small that size is a real issue, you can simply gzip (or zip or bzip or compress) the XML documents.

For example, consider Microsoft Word. A 70-page chapter including about a dozen screen shots and diagrams from one of my previous books occupied 6.7MB. Opening that document in OpenOffice 1.0 and immediately resaving it into OpenOffice's ...

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