[self-interest] Unlimited integer arithmetics?

tb at becket.net tb at becket.net
Thu Aug 22 23:00:08 UTC 2002

Dru Nelson <dru at redwoodsoft.com> writes:

> I disagree with this.
> > Universal addressing, for which you essentially need: number of
> >   network addresses in the world * number of bytes on a machine.  The
> >   width of an IPv6 address is six bytes.  64-bit integers would leave
> IPv6 8 bytes (it's 128 bits of address).

Sorry, eight bytes then.  (128 bits is 16 bytes, btw).

> >   only two bytes to address my data.  Since I could easily have well
> >   over a terabyte of storage at a reasonable cost, this is ludicrous.
> >   Instead, we have six bytes of network address *plus* at least
> >   another six bytes to index local storage.
> There is nothing preventing your from addressing larger
> address spaces if you use a higher protocol layer.
> You wouldn't want to send an IP packet to a bit/nibble/byte of
> data.

So this is the point.  The claim was "nobody could want integers
bigger than 64 bits".  

Universal addressing is a very nifty idea, and the whole *point* of it
is to not have extra layers of addressing.  (Unix having *two* layers
of time addressing, for example, totally sucks.  Why should I have
"seconds" and "microseconds"?  And then, now, for some interfaces, you
have seconds and nanoseconds.  Blech blech blech.)

Having another layer simply means that when you need to address
something bigger than 64 bits, you split it up into two integers.  Why
not skip that step and allow large integers directly?

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