How to indicate a field of bits in a byte

Subject: How to indicate a field of bits in a byte
From: Jan Axelson <jan -at- Lvr -dot- com>
To: "TECHWR-L" <techwr-l -at- lists -dot- techwr-l -dot- com>
Date: Tue, 08 Nov 2005 09:29:33 -0600


I sometimes need to describe the usage of bits of data within a byte, where multiple bits in the byte make up a single field.

Example:

Bit 0: End bit
Bits 1 through 7: CRC bits

Conventions I've seen to indicate "Bits 1 through 7" or similar include

[1:7]

1..7

1...7

1-7, where "-" is an n-dash

or the same but with the most significant bit first, especially when followed by data, such as:

[7:1] 1110001

(because the leftmost bit is bit 7).

I'd be interested in any comments/thoughts on which format is clearest, or if there's a better format. The audience is engineers/programmers.

(I recently rejoined this list after an absence and am finding it as informative as ever.)

Jan Axelson
www.Lvr.com

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