Using standardized SI prefixes

Ben Finney bignose+hates-spam at
Wed Jun 20 04:02:47 UTC 2007

Ivan Jager <aij+nospam at> writes:

> Here's a shell for people who don't remember what the output of their
> commands mean:
> #!/bin/bash
> while echo -n '$ '; read cmd line; do
>     man $cmd | cat;
>     eval $cmd "$line" | sed 's/KB/KiB/;s/MB/MiB/;s/GB/GiB/;s/TB/TiB/';
> done

I'm choosing this to quote because it highlights the mistake being made.

The above assumes that this proposal is about *replacing*,
unilaterally, every instance of one text with another. This is
mistaken, because the proposal is about fixing *only* those cases
where the unit does not match the quantity. The programs which output
base-ten unit abbreviations correctly would be *broken* by the above
simple substitution.

The problem is that *many* cases are incorrect; we can't say that
*all* of them are. That uncertainty is not amenable to a mindless text
substitution without judgement of each case. The solution can only be
for humans to find those cases where the units presented do not match
the quantities, and to file bugs against those packages asking for the
mistake to be corrected.

 \      "I like to fill my bathtub up with water, then turn the shower |
  `\    on and pretend I'm in a submarine that's been hit."  -- Steven |
_o__)                                                           Wright |
Ben Finney

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