It would be nice if all I/O libraries observed network byte order. Sadly, most default to machine byte order, so you have to be careful when you're reading a file written by a non-Java program. I've been bitten by poor endianess on Intel more than once.
Motorola and PowerPC processors are sane enough to use the correct ("network" or "big endian") byte order. Sadly there aren't many of those superior processors around.. now that Apple has gone to Intel.
Gonna be a lot of em around soon in consoles.... all the next gen consoles are PPC.
IBM calls their strategy "Power Everywhere" and is very serious about getting PPC into every computing device possible.
Ironically, this is reportedly part of what pushed Apple away from PPC. When noone else muchw as using PPC they had "favoured nation status" and rather abused it by all accounts. Once IBM/Motorola had other larger customers, that status went away and Apple no longer was accord the defference they felt they deserved....
I don't think we should hold our breath for Intel to make a processor with a decent architecture... perhaps if they didn't base their current processors on being backward compatible with a calculator chip from the 70s... so sad... Too bad IBM couldn't work out their issues with getting the PowerPC up to speed.
After the Itanium disaster it will take a brave exec at Intel to suggest moving away from their power bsae again.
What byte order does a Sparc processor use? I would assume that it is also the correct byte order, after all "the network is the computer"
What I rememerb from my C days... is that Sparc is the same byte order as the Motorola 68000 family, but there are subtle byte packing differences. Again AIR 68000 aligngend everything on word boundaries whereas Sparc aligns on type-boundaries.