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bytes vs. octets

This page is part of the web mail archives of SRFI 56 from before July 7th, 2015. The new archives for SRFI 56 contain all messages, not just those from before July 7th, 2015.

Hi all,

I did not receive much feedback on this issue, and what I did receive
went both ways.

I've given it a lot of thought and have decided to stick to *-byte in
the names as there is simply no advantage in changing to octet.  In
this day and age "byte" is universally accepted as being 8 bits and
any argument that it could be misinterpreted is simply not realistic.
"octet" on the other hand is a less well known term used primarily by
network engineers and in RFCs, and could be confusing to those not
familiar with it who may wonder how you intend to pull eight musicians
out of a port.  Programming libraries and APIs almost universally use
"byte" and so newcomers are likely to be more comfortable with this.

In a nutshell, you could argue forever either way, but as this is a
library for programmers and the most well known programming term is
"byte," including specific precedence in Lisp and Scheme functions of
the same name, I'm going to stick with "byte."