BIGENDIAN

Brian Bruns camber at ais.org
Wed Jul 11 16:14:16 EDT 2001


On Wed, 11 Jul 2001, Lowden, James K wrote:

> Why does this matter to FreeTDS?  The database server lives on a hardware
> architecture, of course, which might be either big- or little-endian.  So
> does the client.  Somebody has to do the conversion, if conversion is
> needed.  I'm a little fuzzy about who, though.  
> 
> I thought the client indicates its endianism to the server and expects the
> server to reorganize things to the client's liking.  I thought that's what
> broke dates on big-endian clients to MS servers until Microsoft's patch came
> out.  But I know FreeTDS does some adjusting of its own (and has a little
> more to do :-/ ).  

Just to be plain about this, the server does the conversion.  Most
protocols in this situation rely on the client to make the switch, or just
agree on network order (which means two conversion for little endian to
little endian comm).

The reason for this is that the TDS protocol was developed in the 80's
when a smoking client machine was a 286. So, the server took on the extra
burden of byte swapping.

Brian




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