Boost logo

Boost :

Subject: Re: [boost] [boost::endian] Request for comments/interest
From: Terry Golubiewski (tjgolubi_at_[hidden])
Date: 2010-05-29 00:02:17

> The term "network byte order" means the same to everyone who has had to
> learn what endianness is. Why would one want ignore that the term
> "network byte order" has real meaning in an endianness library? That
> there are legitimate use cases for sending little-endian data over the
> network is, to me, irrelevant.
>> Are you saying that you would like it to do so? Or are you saying you
>> would
>> like to have another typedef, "machine_to_network"?
> Acknowledging "network byte order" in the interface does not prescribe
> anything. I am suggesting is that it should be a consistent synonym for
> "big endian". Virtually all IETF binary protocols specify /network byte
> order/ and everyone who reads the RFCs knows what that means. One need
> only google 'rfc "network byte order"' to get a feel for its
> pervasiveness. Ignoring it completely seems silly.
>> I *could* add that with no problems, of course, BUT like I said, that
>> typedef
>> may mean different things to different people. I would almost prefer for
>> this
>> to be an application specific define
> But it's not application-specific. It's a de facto world-wide standard.

There are other networks besides the internet, some that don't use IP and
are not big-endian by default.
It would probably make sense to have an "internet" namespace that has all
that stuff predefined somewhere.
Endianess is a bigger concept than the internet, especially for embedded
software that uses several dissimilar processors, but might not have any
"network" interface.
BTW there are other endiannesses besides "bit" and "little" too, but I
haven't seen any processors with "middle-endian" like that since the PDP
(if that was the one).
Endianess is not just byte-swapping either. A big-endian, floating point
representation and a little-endian representation of the same kind of
floating point number may not be simple byte-reflections of each other.


Boost list run by bdawes at, gregod at, cpdaniel at, john at