[r6rs-discuss] use of "bytes"
per at bothner.com
Mon Nov 20 13:43:58 EST 2006
Chris Hanson wrote:
> This is kind of a minor issue, but I wonder how people feel about using
> the word "octet" rather than "byte" for the report? "Octet" is very
> precise, and was adopted by the IETF because a "byte" isn't necessarily
> 8 bits. (See definition from Wikipedia below.)
I suspect at this point the word byte in practice unambiguously means
8 bits. All the people who prefer the more general usage will understand
the newer meaning, but not vice versa.
But another anbiguity is whether bytes are signed or unsigned. As a
measure of storage size (the most common one) it doesn't matter, but as
a data type it does. Notice that "byte" in both Java and C\# is signed.
(C# also has "unsigned byte".)
That is an argument for "u8vector" - it is unambiguous, relatively
short, has historical use in Scheme implementations, and is
generalizable to other "uniform vector" types.
per at bothner.com http://per.bothner.com/
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