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Re: Bignums

> At 2:58 PM -0800 4/3/97, Ron Rivest wrote:
> >When a byte string is treated as a bignum (for crypto use), should the
> >first byte given be considered the most-significant byte of the number,
> >or the least-significant byte?
> Network byte order.  First is the most significant.

Network byte order is for efficiency reasons in that case. It is always
most efficient to present routing information in MSB first format since
it then allows routing proceedures to take effect at the earliest
possible case. This is essential for Yanchev style "mad postman" routing
where a node begins routing at the earliest possible moment.

This is not a routing problem, it is a computation problem. Byte alignment 
is a necessary procedure. Little endian is the most efficient form of

One of the points made in the holy wars RFC is that endianness is 
religion except when it matters. This is a case where it does actually
matter for a change!

Note that the Internet did not get everything in network byte order.
DNS addresses are some what curiously little endian. The Internet is
not consistent and we should not introduce inefficiency in support
of a consistency that does not exist. The original standard for arabic
numbering was little endian, let us keep consistence withg that!


PS you colonials drive on the wrong side of the road as well.