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Re: bytes vs. octets




On Wed, 15 Sep 2004, Alex Shinn wrote:

>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."

Okay... but at least document that you mean 8-bit units, not the
distance between adjacent unique memory addresses.

Embedded systems these days are showing an increasing diversity of
CPUs, and 8-bit bytes are no longer universal on all platforms.

				Bear