week starts at Sunday or Monday??

Paul Hill phill at myriad.com
Mon Oct 2 15:15:10 UTC 2000

Janis.Papanagnou at varetis.de wrote:
> I've never heard about "the 0-st".
> Enumerating starting with zero seems to have come in vogue with C, due to
> the simpler address calculation (saves some micro seconds?).

In case as computer programmers, anyone was wondering if starting with
the "0th" is just anti-social and a break with tradition, I'd like to
remind us all that there is precedence for starting with 0 in non-
computer culture.

1. Street numbering in planned towns.

Many towns in Canada and the USA, particularly those layed out in the 19th Century,
are layed out in grids or at least with some sets of streets in parellel.
The number of the streets almost never starts with 1, but nearly always has
a "0th" street. A common name for this street is "Main", but there
are many other examples (River, Front, State, Center, Railroad etc.)
The streets are then numbered 1st, 2nd, 3rd, 4rd etc.

2. Building Floor Numbering

In many tall buildings (but not all), the floor which is at the level of the
street is not numbered 1, but the first floor above the 'ground' floor is numbered 1.
Numbering continues upward.

Other examples that pre-date the C array convention exist, probably none of which
had a direct influence on C arrays. Each of the examples, show that others have
found uses for numbering things "Start" and "1" and "2".

Have fun,


p.s. Doesn't the week starts sometime after the 1st coffee on Monday.
Myriad Genetics: http://www.myriad.com/
Java FAQ: http://www.afu.com/javafaq.html (Section 9, Computer Dating)

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