The last time I vented about this issue (I think on this list) someone
relayed that at PGP they had gone stomping around the office singing
"every bit you save, we'll be watching you,..." to the tune of the
"every move you make, ..." melody.
A complete fabrication of course. I've never heard of this nor the perversion
of it posted by Guttman. The bit savers in the development group were soundly
criticized, but by that time it was too late. Most of this format stuff was
done before the company was even formed.
Just to set the record straight on this:
I concur completely. I once got so fed up with this habit that I tromped
around the office singing, "Every bit is sacred / Every bit is great / When a
bit is wasted / Phil gets quite irate."
Consider this to be one of the prime things to correct. Personally, I think
that numbers should never (well, hardly ever) be smaller than 32 bits.
Jon Callas jon(_at_)pgp(_dot_)com
Chief Scientist 555 Twin Dolphin Drive
Pretty Good Privacy, Inc. Suite 570
(415) 596-1960 Redwood Shores, CA 94065
Could we resolve this by making 32 bits a MUST and the other oddball stuff a
MAY, or a deprecated MAY? Since the format gives you the option of choosing
what you like, all that's necessary is to deprecate the weird stuff (perhaps
MUST emit 32-bit lengths, MUST read 32-bit lengths, MAY read other types).