I am not sure this is of general enough usefulness to be in the backend.
Can you add it as a pgfoundry project?

---------------------------------------------------------------------------

Fabien COELHO wrote:
> 
> Dear PostgreSQL developers,
> 
> Please find attached a small patch to convert bytea to bit strings and 
> vice versa.
> 
> I used it in order to be able xor md5 results so as to checksum bundles of 
> tuples together. The MD5 result is an hexa text convertible to bytea with 
> decode, but then I was stuck...
> 
> ISTM that having these types explicitely castable may be useful to others, 
> hence this small contribution. The cast allows to work on a bytea at the 
> bit level and to perform bitwise operations.
> 
> ./src/backend/utils/adt/varbit.c
>   - add two conversion functions
> 
> ./src/include/catalog/pg_proc.h
>   - declare the above functions in the catalog
> 
> ./src/include/catalog/pg_cast.h
>   - declare the 4 explicit casts
> 
> ./src/test/regress/sql/bit.sql
>   - test all those new casts
> 
> ./src/test/regress/expected/bit.out
>   - new regression results
> 
> ./src/test/regress/expected/opr_sanity.out
>   - pg figures out that bit and varbit are binary compatible,
>     which is the case (well, at least I assumed it).
> 
> -- 
> Fabien.

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