Re: Hexadecimal digits

From: Hans Aberg (
Date: Fri Jun 04 2010 - 17:20:22 CDT

  • Next message: Michael Everson: "Re: Hexadecimal digits"

    On 5 Jun 2010, at 00:04, Luke-Jr wrote:

    > On Friday 04 June 2010 04:45:57 pm Hans Aberg wrote:
    >> Hexadecimal representation is only used to give a compact
    >> representation of binary numbers in connection of computers. In view
    >> of modern fast computers, one only needs to write out numbers when
    >> interfacing with humans. Then one can easily make the computer write
    >> or read what humans are used to. So there is no particular need to
    >> switch to another base than ten if that is what humans prefer. Base
    >> 16
    >> is easier when one for some reason needs to think about the binary
    >> representation.
    > Base 16 is superior in many various ways, the most obvious being
    > easier
    > division (both visibly and numeric).

    The Ethiopian binary multiplication is far simpler - it is now used in
    computers. But now, the system is falling out of use, as it is easier
    to let the computers do the arithmetic. (Besides, one has devised
    fast, in the head, multiplication systems for base ten, as well.)

    > Why assume all humans prefer the same
    > thing? This is like assuming everyone knows the same language, uses
    > the same
    > characters, etc...

    Nobody does, as there are already different systems in use. The
    situation is the opposite: there is no need to promote one basis over
    another as a part of a reform. Just use what is practical.

    >> But if humans in the future would use base 16 a lot, it might be
    >> convenient to have special symbols for them. Then the typical would
    >> be
    >> that glyphs becoming some alteration of A-F.
    > While it is natural for glyphs to change, artificial character sets
    > are not
    > unheard of. For example, Korean was designed such that each character,
    > representing a syllable, was composed of sub-characters representing
    > the
    > individual sounds in that syllable. Despite its unnatural origin,
    > numerous
    > people use it in their daily lives.

    Anyway, Unicode just encodes actual usage, with few exceptions. If you
    have some documentation, that may help your cause.


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