Re: Why is "endianness" relevant when storing data on disks but not when in memory?

From: Bjoern Hoehrmann <>
Date: Sun, 06 Jan 2013 00:41:20 +0100

* Costello, Roger L. wrote:
>On page 62 it says:
> ... when we store ... data on disk, we write
> not 32-bit (or 16-bit) numbers but series of
> four (or two) bytes. And according to the
> type of processor (Intel or RISC), the most
> significant byte will be written either first
> (the "little-endian" system) or last (the
> "big-endian" system). Therefore we have
> both a UTF-32BE and a UTF-32LE, a UTF-16BE
> and a UTF-16LE.
>Then, on page 63 it says:
> ... UTF-16 or UTF-32 ... if we specify one of
> these, either we are in memory, in which case
> the issue of representation as a sequence of
> bytes does not arise, or we are using a method
> that enables us to detect the endianness of the
> document.
>When data is in memory isn't it important to know
>whether the most significant byte is first or last?

The idea is that this knowledge is implied because there is only a
single system with a single convention involved, with the assumption
that you do not look behind the curtain (do not access the "first"
byte of a multi-byte integer, for instance).

Bjrn Hhrmann
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Received on Sat Jan 05 2013 - 17:46:33 CST

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