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That's no different from text. You can't pass one kind of text from one program to another without both understanding it. That's why ls has a million different and confusing quoting options.

The advantage of using a proper data format is

a) You don't have to do in-band signalling so it will be far more reliable (you still can't have spaces in filenames for a lot of unixy things). b) The encoding is standard. Using text for pipes still requires some kind of encoding in general, but there are many different ways (is it one entry per line? space separated? are strings quoted? etc.)

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