Re: Hexadecimal digits

From: Kenneth Whistler (
Date: Fri Jun 04 2010 - 12:43:33 CDT

  • Next message: Luke-Jr: "Re: Hexadecimal digits"

    > On Friday 04 June 2010 08:51:05 am Otto Stolz wrote:
    > > In any case, you have to know the base of every number
    > > you are going to parse. This stems from the fact that
    > > the same digits are used for all number systems.

    Luke-Jr replied:

    > But you first need to know if it is a number or a word.

    And that is a problem for the character encoding because...?

    > Can you drink cafe coffee?
    > Am I asking about coffee from a cafe (place), or asking if you can
    > handle 51,996 (decimal) cups of coffee?

    For that matter can you drink five cups of coffee?

    Is that five = 5(base-10) or is it five(base-36) = 724,298(base-10) cups?

    > May I have a fish?
    > One fish or ten?

    And that is why prefixes such as "0x" were invented, so as
    to disambiguate explicitly in contexts where syntax or
    explicit type do not. Ordinary language usage wouldn't ordinarily
    countenance this kind of ambiguity anyway -- it is a completely
    artificial example.

    > Just two examples I can think of offhand that make a-f insufficient.

    ASCII a-f to express hexadecimal digits are standard in every
    significant programming language syntax, as well as for numeric
    character references that are used ubiquitously now to refer to
    characters in HTML and XML. So I'd say they are probably
    sufficient for some millions of programmers and some hundreds of
    millions of web users.

    YMMD, of course.


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