Subject: Re: Q: How to write binary data to a file?
From: Erik Naggum <>
Date: 05 Sep 2002 09:17:29 +0000
Newsgroups: comp.lang.lisp
Message-ID: <>

* Tim Bradshaw <>
| This is really cool.  Not only have they decided to use a weird term,
| *they've got it wrong* because - as any Lisp person should know,
| especially one who has read this thread - a byte *isn't* an octet, or
| not in all uses of the term!  So some time in some French article
| (perhaps on Common Lisp), someone is going to correct `byte' to
| `octet' and completely destroy the meaning of what was written

  A Dictionary of Computing from Oxford University Press actually has this
  informative entry:

octet   Eight contiguous bits; an eight bit byte. The term is used instead of
byte to prevent confusion in cases where the term has preexisting hardware
associations, as in machines with 7-bit bytes, 9-bit bytes, 12-bit bytes.

  But their "byte" idea is "a fixed number of bits that can be treated as a
  unit by the computer hardware", which is just plain wrong.

Erik Naggum, Oslo, Norway

Act from reason, and failure makes you rethink and study harder.
Act from faith, and failure makes you blame someone and push harder.