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endian in Technology

data, architecture
Suffix used in the terms big-endian and little-endian that describe the ordering of bytes in a multi-byte number.
The term comes from Swift's "Gulliver's Travels" via the famous paper "On Holy Wars and a Plea for Peace" by Danny Cohen, USC/ISI IEN 137, 1980-04-01.
The Lilliputians, being very small, had correspondingly small political problems. The Big-Endian and Little-Endian parties debated over whether soft-boiled eggs should be opened at the big end or the little end.
See also middle-endian, holy wars, NUXI problem, swab.

The Free On-line Dictionary of Computing, © Denis Howe 2010
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