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Re: 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.

Alex Shinn <foof@xxxxxxxxxxxxx> writes:

> At 15 Sep 2004 11:53:58 -0700, Thomas Bushnell BSG wrote:
> > 
> > Alex Shinn <foof@xxxxxxxxxxxxx> writes:
> > 
> > > 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.
> > 
> > What do you mean my "universally accepted", given that you have seen
> > it not accepted on this very list?
> I have only seen evidence that in those machines for which the
> smallest addressable memory unit is not 8 bits they still use "byte"
> to refer to 8 bits.  This is the modern definition of byte.

So the PDP-10 doesn't count, does it?

You can make whichever decision you wish, but please don't support
your decision with a lie.  It is true that many people use "byte" to
mean "eight bits".  They are wrong, but the usage may be so prevelant
that your SRFI should give in.  

There are lots of people who think "baud" means "bits per second";
they are wrong too.  But fortunately, people got out of the habit of
that usage, now that we have high bps modems for which baud != bits
per second.

So go ahead and name the functions whatever you want, after taking all
factors into account.  But don't then back up your decision with the
dishonest claim that your usage is "universally accepted".