decimal is more succinct than {binary} for representing

bit-masks, machines addresses, and other low-level constants but it is still reasonably easy to split a hex number into different bit positions, e.g. the top 16 bits of a 32-bit word are the first four hex digits.

The term was coined in the early 1960s to replace earlier "sexadecimal", which was too racy and amusing for stuffy IBM, and later adopted by the rest of the industry.

Actually, neither term is etymologically pure. If we take "binary" to be paradigmatic, the most etymologically correct term for base ten, for example, is "denary", which comes from "deni" (ten at a time, ten each), a Latin "distributive" number; the corresponding term for base sixteen would be something like "sendenary". "Decimal" is from an ordinal number; the corresponding prefix for six would imply something like "sextidecimal". The "sexa-" prefix is Latin but incorrect in this context, and "hexa-" is Greek. The word octal is similarly incorrect; a correct form would be "octaval" (to go with decimal), or "octonary" (to go with binary). If anyone ever implements a base three computer, computer scientists will be faced with the unprecedented dilemma of a choice between two *correct* forms; both "ternary" and "trinary" have a claim to this throne.

[Jargon File]

Last updated: 1996-03-09

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decimal is more succinct than {binary} for representingt of the industry.

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t of the industry.

Actually, neither term is etymologically pure. If we take "binary" to be paradigmatic, the most etymologically correct term for base ten, for example, is "denary", which comes from "deni" (ten at a time, ten each), a Latin "distributive" number; the corresponding term for base sixteen would be something like "sendenary". "Decimal" is from an ordinal number; the corresponding prefix for six would imply something like "sextidecimal". The "sexa-" prefix is Latin but incorrect in this context, and "hexa-" is Greek. The word octal is similarly incorrect; a correct form would be "octaval" (to go with decimal), or "octonary" (to go with binary). If anyone ever implements a base three computer, computer scientists will be faced with the unprecedented dilemma of a choice between two *correct* forms; both "ternary" and "trinary" have a claim to this throne.

[Jargon File]

Last updated: 1996-03-09

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decimal is more succinct than {binary} for representingt of the industry.yboard designs might seem to imply (see

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yboard designs might seem to imply (see

space-cadet keyboard).

[Jargon File]

Last updated: 1996-03-09

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t of the industry.yboard designs might seem to imply (seey serious}.

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y serious}.

Last updated: 1998-01-18

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y serious}. significantly easier to maintain than {COBOL}. It uses a

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significantly easier to maintain than {COBOL}. It uses a

single type of data object, called a flow, which is an indexed stream of data values. Computation is expressed as operations acting on flows.

Language List.

Translation of COBOL to HIBOL.

["HIBOL: a language for fast prototyping in data processing environments", Roland T. Mittermeir, Technische Universitaet Wien, Vienna, Austria, Proceedings of the workshop on Rapid Prototyping, ACM New York, NY, USA 1982, ISBN:0-89791-094-X, http://dl.acm.org/citation.cfm?id=1006282].

[R. T. Mittermeir, "HIBOL - A very High Level Business Oriented Language, User Manual", TR DA 81/04/04, Institut fuer Angewandte Informatik und Systemanalyse, Technische Universitaet Wien, Wien, 1981].

Last updated: 2012-01-08

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significantly easier to maintain than {COBOL}. It uses a Mittermeir, "HIBOL - A very High Level Business

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Mittermeir, "HIBOL - A very High Level Business

Oriented Language, User Manual", TR DA 81/04/04, Institut fuer Angewandte Informatik und Systemanalyse, Technische Universitaet Wien, Wien, 1981].

Last updated: 2012-01-08

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Mittermeir, "HIBOL - A very High Level Business adding an explicit input variable to instruct a routine to

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adding an explicit input variable to instruct a routine to

give extra diagnostic output, the programmer might just add a test for some otherwise meaningless feature of the existing inputs, such as a negative mass. The use of hidden flags can make a program very hard to debug and understand, but is all too common wherever programs are hacked in a hurry.

[Jargon File]

Last updated: 1994-11-24

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adding an explicit input variable to instruct a routine to

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tive mass. The use of hidden flags can

make a program very hard to debug and understand, but is all too common wherever programs are hacked in a hurry.

[Jargon File]

Last updated: 1994-11-24

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adding an explicit input variable to instruct a routine totive mass. The use of hidden flags cante

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