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Interesting, this article from 2011 shows the Debian community moving from short 8 char IDs to 16 chararters one.

Now I'm really confused, and I have to ask:

Why are we calling a 8 hexadecimal character word 32 bit when it reuqires 64 bit to encode, or a 16 hexadecimal character word 64 bit when it take 256 bit to encode?




Because while 8 characters of hexadecimal stored directly as themselves as individual bytes occupy 8 bytes, each pair of hexadecimal characters only encodes up to 1 byte of binary information.

00 -> FF only covers 0-255, which is the range of binary values representable in 1 byte.

The bit length they're talking about isn't about how many characters are in the human readable IDs (hex) but instead the technical range limit of the ID numbers.




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