Q: IEEE-Float byte order on Network convention

John Mills jmills@tga.com
Wed Aug 2 09:36:00 GMT 2000

Hello -

A question for network gurus:
 I plan to send binary packets including IEEE floating-point types over an
InterNet connection between a client and server. The client will initially
be hosted on an i86 box (interchangeably Linux or WinNT), and later
possibly a PPC box. The server could be a variety of Win or *nix hosts. I
will write the code for client and server, but not the net interfaces.
Transport will be TCP/IP and UDP/IP, will probably use SSL, and may use
HTTP tunnelling. (I am new to detail on most of these: please excuse any
obvious contradictions, but do bring them to my attention.)

I have only done this with packets of my own design on a direct serial
links between 68K and i86 boxen: the natural orderings were indeed
different, but (thankfully!) the data types were otherwise compatible for
the respective compilers. (I put reordering responsibiliy on the
i86-hosted responders, since they had the lowest overall loading in that 

If there is a convention for byte- and word-order in transfering
non-integer types over a net connection, I would prefer to observe it.
Please tell me of any, direct me to references, or share your

TIA for any comments.

 - Mills

   John Mills
   Sr. Software Engineer
   TGA Technologies, Inc.
   100 Pinnacle Way, Suite 140
   Norcross, GA 30071-3633
   e-mail: jmills@tga.com
   Phone: 770-441-2100 ext.124 (voice)
          770-449-7740 (FAX)

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