APNIC Allocated 14/8, 223/8 today

Dave Hart davehart at gmail.com
Wed Apr 14 07:45:23 CDT 2010

On Wed, Apr 14, 2010 at 09:20 UTC, Nick Hilliard wrote:
> On 14/04/2010 08:06, Srinivas Chendi <sunny at apnic.net> wrote to SANOG:
>>     014/8
>>     223/8
> Sunny,
> Please be careful about how you write this. "014" is formally an octal
> representation, and what you've written there actually means that APNIC has
> received 12/8 (= octal 014).
> Nick


My eyebrow raised at the leading zero as well, but I'd call it
ambiguous.  0x14 is unambiguously decimal 20, but 014 is only
unambiguous in a context that defines leading zero as implying octal.
For a C program relying on the runtime to convert text to numeric
representation, it depends.  sscanf("%d", &myint) will convert 014 to
decimal 14, "%i" gets decimal 12.

I personally hunt down and kill %i and other octal-assuming code when
I see it, except where octal is conventional.  To my eyes, 0xFF (or
FF) screams "all bits lit" while 0377 (or 377) only hesitantly clears
its throat.  Moreover, I assume computers will be used by people who
have never had reason to believe a leading zero implies base 8, and I
find no joy in forcing them to learn that quirk of computing history.

Take care,
Dave Hart

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