Encoding and Decoding Methods (compared and Contrasted)
When data is encoded for any 'external' use, it is possible to do so in an almost unlimited variety of different formats that are sometimes conflicting. This content encoding (of the raw data) may be designed for:
- optimal readability – by humans
- optimal decoding speed – by other computer programs
- optimal compression – for archiving or data transmission
- optimal compatibility – with "legacy" or other existing formats or programming languages
- optimal security – using encryption
(For character level encoding, see the various encoding techniques such as EBCDIC or ASCII )
It is unlikely that all of these goals could be met with a single 'generic' encoding scheme and so a compromise will often be the desired goal and will often be compromised by the need for standardization and/or legacy and compatibility issues.
Read more about this topic: Algorithmic Efficiency
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