[Rd] RFC: "loop connections"

dhinds@sonic.net dhinds at sonic.net
Sat Aug 27 07:06:07 CEST 2005

Gabor Grothendieck <ggrothendieck at gmail.com> wrote:
> OK.  I guess you want one of the core people to respond but in the
> interim can you explain the terminology "loop"?   
> Also, do you have any prototypical applications in mind?

"loop" is short for "loopback".  A loop or loopback device is one that
just returns the data sent to it.

The prototypical applications are the same sort of applications text
connections are used for: data transformation, in this case of raw
binary data, rather than formatted text data.  In my case, I needed to
interpret a "long raw" column from an Oracle table, that consisted of
packed single precision floating point numbers.

The caTools package on CRAN includes less capable raw2bin and bin2raw
functions, used to implement Base64 encoders and decoders.

-- Dave

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