on the mailing list, there has been some discussion to change the value returned by the Ethernet library on write() or print() calls. Currently, these functions return the sum of the number of bytes written to all clients. So, if you print a five-byte string to the Ethernet object and one client is connected, it will return 5. If two clients are connected, it will return 10.
The proposal is to change this to return 5 in both cases, so that the returned value can be used for e.g. alignment of printed strings. The proposed implementation is to return the maximum number of bytes printed to each client (normally each client should have the same number of bytes printed, but they can be different in case of errors for example).
The main question of this post is: Is there anyone relying on the return value of Ethernet’s write() and print() for which this change would cause a problem?
For more details, see the original mailing list thread: http://comments.gmane.org/gmane.comp.hardware.arduino.devel/1928