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> But why not just draw it instead of, well, typing it in ASCII?

Maybe because it is (or at least can be, the more advanced usages become less so) tolerably self-describing in that you can readily see what it is producing, in a way that SVG isn't, while still being source-control and diffing-tool friendly text?

For small things like its intended uses, it fits well within coding tools and workflows, and avoids separately documenting and coding the art.

Um, graphic files are also self-describing.

This kind of reeks of "If your only tool is a text editor, every problem looks like text".

It's more "if your primary tool is a text editor, there is a complexity cost to context shifting, and for some simple tasks that cost isn't justified if you have a suitable method of representing what you want in text."

Just as with programming, polyglot programming has value, but switching languages within a project had a complexity cost that isn't always justified even when for dinner task taken alone a different language is marginally superior.

Graphics files are not both self-describing and inline.

For some applications, having something be both can be helpful.

Way off topic but this is one reason I was excited about Atom the text editor. Given its running inside a browser you should, theoretically, be able to show svg inline, even allow visual editing inline.

Emacs has supported inline SVGs in org-mode since 2007 or so.

Exactly, could not have said it better.

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