How to use binary data with XML?

Ronald Bourret rbourret at
Tue Apr 20 20:06:02 BST 1999

Roger L. Costello wrote:

> (1)  Binary data isn't actually put in an XML file, correct? i.e., the
> binary data is _not_ inline, correct?  An XML file just contains ASCII
> text, correct?

Yes, XML documents contain text.  (This is not limited to ASCII -- they can 
directly contain any character included in the encoding declared by the XML 
declaration or in encoding declarations in external entities and can 
indirectly contain other characters through character references.)

One common way suggested to inline binary data is to encode it as Base64.

> (2)  Just like in HTML, binary data is _referenced_ by the XML document,
> correct?

Except as noted above, correct.

> (3) Is this the correct way of using binary data:
> [example snipped]
> Here we see an XML document _referencing_ a file containg binary data.
> The binary data is not actually inline.  Is this how it's done?  /Roger

Yep -- that's it.

-- Ron Bourret

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