Thoughts on everyday endiannes

Half Baked Ideas #endianness

Just a quick note on 11/11/11: I’d like to express how awesome big-endian is in all aspects of life. In Hungary we use big-endian for pretty much everything (very much like Japan), eg. representing dates, family and given names and addresses.

For example, in hungarian language, the date of today is usually expressed like:

longest form: 2011. november 11, péntek. (YYYY-MM-DD, day-of-week)
shortest form: 11.11.11 (YY.MM.DD.)

It can be much easier to interpret a date that comes in front of you while browsing the net when it starts with a year, because it will hardly represent a middle-endian date (YYYY-dd-mm), while dates ending with year can be confusing, because if the day part is lesser than 13, you can’t be sure if month or day comes first (mm/dd/yyyy or dd/mm/yyyy).

In Hungarian names, the Family name (thus the most significant) comes first and then the given name, and maiden/middle (least significant) name last. People with three names is quite uncommon though.

An address specification is like the following (Parlament of Hungary in this case):

V. kerület
Kossuth tér 2

Budapest (most significan data) is the capitcal city of Hungary, ‘V. kerület’ means 5th district, Kussuth ter stands for Kossuth square, and 2 is the house number (least significant). 1051 is the post code (here is some redundancy as post codes specifies a region of the country so if someone misses to specify the city or the district, its letter still can be delivered to the right address).

Soon there will be 11:11:11 UTC that can be representated as 2011-11-11T11:11:11Z according to the ISO8601 standard. The standard is pretty straightforward, no confusion at all.

So please, let’s use big-endian representation every where. Please.