David Bridgham dab at froghouse.org
Mon Feb 1 13:13:14 CST 2021

On 2/1/21 1:59 PM, John Ames via cctech wrote:

> This one has always boggled me, because it's the one aspect of the
> Endian Wars where there's a simple, straightforward answer grounded in
> basic mathematics - base ^ digit-number only gives the correct
> place-value when the lowest-order bit is numbered zero. It's beyond my
> ken how anybody thought the reverse was *valid,* let alone a good
> idea.

For all that I agree with you that little-endian is clearly the right
answer and for exactly the reason you state, it's pretty easy to see
where big-endian representation came from.  That's how we write numbers
in English, we write them big-endian.  There ya go, it's as simple as that.

Sure, one can get into the story that our numbers come from Arabic and
Arabic is written right-to-left so in fact they were originally
little-endian and just didn't get flipped around when incorporated into
left-to-right languages but that's all lost in the past.  Today, we
write numbers, in English, big-endian so it's no surprise at all that
some computers followed that common practice.


More information about the cctalk mailing list