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Re: validity of viewpoints [was Re: should "use byte" be "use bytes"?]

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Russ Allbery
February 10, 2000 12:07
Re: validity of viewpoints [was Re: should "use byte" be "use bytes"?]
Message ID:
Autarch <> writes:

> This is the most hostile mailing list I've ever been on.  I am extremely
> hesitant to write this because I suspect that someone is going to have a
> fit at me.  I swear that if I didn't know better I would suspect that
> this list was largely populated by 13-17 year old boys.  In fact, it
> strongly reminds me of my BBS'ing days back in high school.

To be fair, they generally only do this with people they know.  By and
large the list is reasonably nice to new posters unless they're extremely

Anyway, to throw in another data point here (if not an opinion, as I'm not
sure I care either way), "octet" is the term used in IETF standards
precisely due to the potential ambiguity of "byte."  Note that ISO C does
not require that byte be eight bits, only that it be the same size as
char and be *at least* eight bits.

If someone's reading the (soon to be current) mail or news standards and
writing Perl code based on that, the label "octet" will be familiar and
possibly more intuitive than "byte."

Russ Allbery (         <URL:>

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