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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.

Thomas Bushnell BSG wrote:

Alex Shinn <foof@xxxxxxxxxxxxx> writes:
[8 bits] is the modern definition of byte.

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

Er, no, not to the *modern* definition of "byte".

In current usage "1 byte" == "8 bits".  Octet is more
pedentically "correct", but it is not common usage.
Byte is.

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,

Words change meaning.  Even technical words.  Sometimes that is
unfortunate when there is older usage that is more precise or
when the new usage conflicts with other uses.  In that case one can
try to fight the new usage while one can, but at some one has to
accept that language is defined by usage.

But don't then back up your decision with the
dishonest claim that your usage is "universally accepted".

I agree.  Alex should have written "gernally accepted" or
"common accepted", but we all sometimes overstate our case.
	--Per Bothner
per@xxxxxxxxxxx   http://per.bothner.com/