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RFC 4880, "OpenPGP Message Format", November 2007

Source of RFC: openpgp (sec)

Errata ID: 2210
Status: Rejected
Type: Editorial

Reported By: Constantin Hagemeier
Date Reported: 2010-04-28
Rejected by: Sean Turner
Date Rejected: 2010-07-20

Section 5.2.2. says:

        - Two-octet field holding left 16 bits of signed hash value.

It should say:

        - Two-octet field holding the first 16 bits of signed hash
          value.

Notes:

left is misleading. It could be remaining (from leave). And there are
cultures where the last letters of a line are on the left side.
The convention is high digit before (not left of) low digit (which may
be odd for Arabs).
--VERIFIER NOTES--
The erratum makes good point that “left” is used where “first” or “high-order” might have been a better term. However, given that we know that we use Network Byte Order, “left” is a reasonable synonym for “first.” The IETF works in English and NBO; the comments about Arabs are well-taken, but pedantic and add no value.

Additionally, a search of other RFCs shows that we are not alone in using “left” to mean “high-order.” While this may be idiomatic rather than well-defined, our research shows it’s an IETF idiom as much as an OpenPGP idiom.

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