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All the Perl that's Practical to Extract and Report

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  • I thought it was pretty interesting how you puzzled out that byte orders were different on different platforms and how to work around it. I thought all programmers knew about little endian and big endian byte orders.

    Then I realized that Perl does an excellent job of hiding byte order. With Perl, it is much less common to read binary structures than in C. Since pack does a good job of handling the differences, byte order just becomes part of the specification of the format.

    Basically, there are two d

    • I do know about byte orders. I just have not had to deal with it for a long time, so I was not thinking about it. All I knew when I started was that the function was reading too many bytes, and, as usual, I started by looking at changes to the code I had made recently.

      My first battle with endianness was moving a couple of gigabytes of data from an intel machine to a motorola based one. To make the analysis of this data easier, I needed to flip around the byte order of the longs. C was taking too long, so I learned 68k assembly, which has some nice operations to do just that, and dropped the processing time down from hours to a couple of minutes.
      • I've had a little more experience than most people with byte order and Perl, primarily because of MacPerl work. But it also came into play with stuff like Storable and DB_File output when going from SPARCs or PPCs to Intels, or vice versa. Hurray for Storable's nstore()!