# What exactly is a “byte” here?

So I was looking at this answer and was amazed by the compactness and unreadability, when I suddenly thought: "That are an awful lot of non standard characters!" So I get that coding golf languages utilize single characters for extended functionality, but as I remember it, a "byte" are 8 bit, so only 256 one-character-commands could possibly be used. And then I found out that the language in question uses more. So, are you really that lenient with encodings? Can one just select which parts of the command list are to be taken? But then that would be the same as counting any character as 1 byte. So shouldn't languages that are okay here only use up to 256 bytes?

(I understand that single characters can have an encoding bigger than 255 for display reasons, I just kinda disagree that more than 256 characters are allowed in general.)

• Not all of the commands in 05AB1E are a single byte. – Wheat Wizard Mar 7 '18 at 2:53
• – Mego Mar 7 '18 at 3:43
• Number of bytes is whatever wc -c returns. Without any exception. – user202729 Mar 7 '18 at 5:48
• If you don't think that (some answer) has the claimed bytecount, just ask them to provide a hexdump. Done. – user202729 Mar 7 '18 at 5:50
• tio.run/… – user202729 Mar 7 '18 at 6:06

05AB1E uses this code page, which contains exactly 256 characters. The info.txt includes many two-byte tokens (such as ža and .€), which is why there are more than 256.