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[Bug 16604] RFE: add unsigned byte as synonym for octet

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Date: Fri, 06 Apr 2012 01:47:20 +0000
To: public-script-coord@w3.org
Message-Id: <E1SFyGm-0000Nj-1q@jessica.w3.org>

--- Comment #8 from Cameron McCormack <cam@mcc.id.au> 2012-04-06 01:47:18 UTC ---
Bits, bytes, words and longs, how many were going to St Ives?

octet came from OMG IDL, where it already meant an unsigned 8 bit integer type.
 When we needed to introduce a signed type, because OMG IDL didn't have one, I
used byte because Java's byte type is signed, rather than introduce "signed

I agree the current names are a bit sucky, though.  But I'm not really in
favour of introducing synonyms.  Seeing different names for the same concept in
different specs, depending on the style preferences of the author, will be

I think there are sufficiently few specs using byte that updating them if we
decide to change the names will be easy enough.  (It might even just be WebGL
and the Typed Arrays spec.)

If people think the status quo is unacceptable, then I think my next preference
would be to have "byte" and "signed byte", or "octet" and "signed octet".  The
former looks and sounds nicer, but the latter more strongly feels like
something unsigned to me.  (And true enough maybe technically a byte doesn't
imply 8 bits necessarily, but I don't think it's a real enough concern.)

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