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Re: [bug-gnulib] null vs. `NUL byte'

From: Paul Eggert
Subject: Re: [bug-gnulib] null vs. `NUL byte'
Date: Sat, 26 Mar 2005 10:42:08 -0800
User-agent: Gnus/5.1006 (Gnus v5.10.6) Emacs/21.4 (gnu/linux)

Jim Meyering <address@hidden> writes:

> 2005-03-26  Jim Meyering  <address@hidden>
>       * intprops.h: Say `terminating NUL byte' rather than `terminating null'.
>       * quotearg.c: Likewise.
>       * filemode.c: Likewise.

Well, as long as we're being picky (:-), NUL is actually a character
and is not a byte.  So, for example, Unicode UTF-16 uses a 16-bit NUL.

POSIX uses the phrase "null byte" when it's talking about an 8-bit
'\0' that terminates a string, regardless of whether the string is a
properly encoded sequence of multibyte characters.  How about if we
use that phrase uniformly, when we're talking about that notion?  We
should use the phrase "null character" or the abbrevation NUL only
when we're talking about characters, not bytes.

I suspect the existing comments sometimes say "null character" when
they should say "null byte".

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