From: Luke-Jr (luke@dashjr.org)
Date: Fri Jun 04 2010 - 15:48:42 CDT

• Next message: Ian Corlett: "Micmac hieroglyphs - proposal in progress"

On Friday 04 June 2010 03:26:45 pm Philippe Verdy wrote:
> The real need would be is we started to count, in our natural life, in
> a binary system like hexadecimal: there would still be the need to use
> it unambiguously with decimal numbers, so that numbers written like
> "10" would still remain unambiguosuly interpreted as ten and not
> sixteen: to avoid this problem, we would also need another set of
> digits for 0-9. Or we would have to use another additonal notation
> such as some diacritic

I agree, but I'm busy enough without having to invent/develop a new system.
The Tonal system already exists, and works well enough.

> The other major problem will be linguistic : to make the hexadecimal
> convenient, we would also need to have other names than "ten",
> "twenty", unless we keep their meaning but forbid combining them in
> sequences like "twenty one" which would still be interpreted in a
> decimal system. So we would need new names for powers of 16, even if
> we keep the names we have for 0..9 and possibly more (ten, eleven,
> twelve are possible in English, thirteen would prebably be
> disqualified as a unit name; in French we could keep dix, onze, douze,
> treize, quatorze, quinze for the hexadecimal units; all other names
> for powers of 10 and their multiples would be disqualified in the new
> naming as they would not translate easily in the hexadecimal system).

The Tonal system gives new pronunciations to all the digits.

> So my opinion is then that, if digits were added for hexadecimal
> notations, they should all be encoded for the full range 0..15, not
> just the range 10..15, and in an unbroken sequence.

Again, if I were creating my own system, sure... Tonal reencodes 9..15.

> But before that, we would still first need to invent and use new names
> for powers of sixteen, and a rational way to name reasonnably large
> numbers in this system (at least up to 64-bit), including for
> fractions of unity ; this has already started in the metric units used
> in the computing industry, by the adoption of binary-based prefixes
> for measure names (kibi, mebi, gibi, ...) instead of the 10-based
> prefixes (kilo, mega, giga...), and the new recommendation of
> abbreviated symbols for these prefixes for multiples/submultiples
> (appending a lowercase "i" after the initial : "Ki, "Mi, Gi..."
> instead of just "k, M, G...")

The computer industry already has units of 'kilobyte' and such referring to
powers of 1024. Being a supporter of hexadecimal, I am of course also
anti-metric and anti-SI-- including insisting that 1024 bytes is a KB :)

On a side note, I'm planning to get a new hard drive at least san (this is a
single digit, but due to deficiencies in Unicode I must spell it out ;) tB
(tambyte) in size sometime soon.

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