Wednesday, April 4, 2012

Boolean vs. binary

I do need to add one important caveat to my comments about the diminished value of binary in modern computer science, which is to draw a distinction between boolean logic and binary coding. Without a doubt, the AND, OR, and NOT operations of boolean logic are critical and absolutely essential to even the most modern of computer programming languages. But, boolean logic in modern computer software is about the two values "true" and "false" rather than the numeric encodings of "1" and "0." Besides, I doubt that anyone thinks of any typical data format as a sequence of "boolean" values.
Put another way, boolean logic provided the theoretical foundation for computing upon which the binary implementations of digital computers have been based. But, the boolean values of modern computer software are in no way dependent on the binary implementation of integers, floating point, character codes, etc.

-- Jack Krupansky

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