One of the mysteries of the English language finally explained.
Denoting or relating to a system of ordering data in a computer's memory whereby the most significant (big-endian) or least significant (little-endian) byte is put first.
- ‘As a student and research assistant at Columbia University's Computer Music Center, I took a first stab at a Linux port which had to use this program to unswap big-endian files.’
- ‘If one number in the file is little-endian, the whole file will be little-endian.’
- ‘In the bigendian systems, those bytes happened to be zeros (making the system appear to work properly), while on the little-endian systems, they were nonzero, causing the string to appear to be corrupted.’
- ‘Remember, on a little-endian machine, the first byte is the least significant one.’
- ‘Out of the many advantages to this format, one is quite relevant to Linux users: it is fully binary-compatible across big-endian and little-endian computers.’
1980s: from Swift's Gulliver's Travels, in which big-endians and little-endians ate boiled eggs by breaking the ‘big’ end or ‘little’ end respectively.
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