What do people think about defining the encoding of a character in a given language as taking place in less than a byte?
For example, take Brainfuck. Brainfuck has exactly 8 possibilities per character, (
,), so each character can be easily encoded into 3 bits. Given that, would it be valid to count the best Brainfuck Hello World program, here, which is 78 characters, as 78 * 3 = 234 bits = 29.25 bytes?
This already seems to be accepted practice for at least one language, namely Binary Lambda Calculus, and there hasn't been much if any pushback over its use.
Of course, this is also applicable to ASCII-only languages (e.g. most of them), where for almost all programs, characters can be encoded in 7 bits.
I personally think that defining character encodings in bits rather than bytes should be fine. What are other opinions?