Re: Big Endian - Little Endian

peter koch <>
Mon, 1 Sep 2008 13:51:09 -0700 (PDT)
On 1 Sep., 22:24, James Kanze <> wrote:

On Sep 1, 4:54 pm, Juha Nieminen <nos...@thanks.invalid> wrote:

James Kanze wrote:

but I can't imagine the need today, with 64 bits virtual
address space).

Clearly you have never needed to read/write humongous amounts
of data as fast as possible.

You'd be surprised:-).

In the good old days, when we had to fit the application into
64KB, just dumping the bits was a very efficient way to
implement overlays of data (and of code, for that matter, if the
system and the linker supported it). Today, however, the
address space of virtual memory is larger than the biggest disks
I can get my hands on, so the only reason I would explicitly
write to disk (as opposed to paging) is because I need to be
able to reread it later. Which means that it must have a
defined format, and just dumping the bits doesn't work.

I mostly agree, but there are exceptions, and they are not THAT few.
One apparant exception is databases: if you want high performance and
reliability, there is no way out of writing data explicitly to disk
and doing so in a binary format. Of course, portability suffers but
you don't want to port to exoteric machines anyway.


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